Anna Faris takes the leap to TV as a single mom who's trying to stay on the wagon — if her sober spitfire of a mother doesn't drive her to drink first

Did you wake up one morning and decide you should be doing TV?
I had my baby, he’s now 11 months old. After that, I was taking a break that was only partially self-imposed. It’s harder to get work as a woman in her late 30s. I’m 36. Wait, is that late 30s?

Not really.
I’ll say mid-30s. [Laughs] I didn’t know what I was going to do. Do I take a few years to raise my kid and travel around with Chris [Pratt, her actor husband of four years]? TV felt tempting but a huge risk. I had done two pilots in the past that didn’t go. Then Chuck [Lorre] sent me this pilot without my agent or manager seeing it first. He has that kind of power! As soon as I read it, it felt like Cinderella’s shoe. I get to play a fully dimensional character, which I don’t always get to play. A lot of times women in film — especially in comedies — are saddled with exposition, or a softball line for the dude’s joke. That’s not as fulfilling as playing this gal, who is a mess.

This deals with some pretty heavy stuff.
I love that it dives into some serious issues. Chuck and [co-creator] Eddie Gorodetsky had been toying around with this idea about a woman who is wasted all the time, but they couldn’t get a handle on it, partly because of the kids. Then [co-creator] Gemma Baker came in and was the one who put her in recovery. So she’s not drunk around her kids and turning all of America off. But she still struggles.

How long has Christy been sober?
One hundred eighteen days. She’s got a lot of guilt about being checked out from her kids for such a long time.

She lived through that with her mom, too.
Yeah. Bonnie [Allison Janney] has been two years sober. Allison and I keep bugging Chuck to write us flashback scenes where we are wasted.

On another note, let’s discuss that smokin’ selfie of your husband, who got in killer shape to play the lead in Guardians of the Galaxy.
I know. It’s wild! He’s really sexy. But I love any way his body comes.

New Comedy, 9:30 p.m., CBS
On the latest sitcom from the Chuck Lorre laugh factory, Anna Faris (The House Bunny) plays a mom named Christy who is not only a recovering alcoholic with two kids but also the child of a cleaned-up addict (played to droll perfection by The West Wing‘s Allison Janney). ”Having Christy’s troubles behind her enables us to talk about it with humor,” says producer Gemma Baker. ”I think anyone who’s had a complicated relationship in their family, or who’s had to overcome a personal challenge, will relate.” Sept. 23