By Samantha Highfill
Updated June 29, 2014 at 03:00 PM EDT
Credit: Fred Norris/CBS
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Shawn Hatosy went from playing a cop on TNT’s Southland to playing a cop on CBS’ Reckless, but the two roles couldn’t be more different. For one thing, Southland‘s Sammy Bryant was generally a good guy. The same cannot be said for Reckless‘ Terry McCandless. “I play a cop who is pretty perverted,” Hatosy said. “He is a hateable character. I mean, his name is Terry. That’s pretty hateable right off the bat, you know? And then he’s just a jerk,” Hatosy joked.

But moving from the good guy role to the bad guy role wasn’t the only change for Hatosy. With Reckless set in Charleston, South Carolina, the new gig required him to relocate to the South, where things don’t quite work the same as in the City of Angels. “That’s one of the things that excites me as an actor, to be able to play somebody like Sammy in a world that is so just rooted in authenticity, to this world, which is Southern and the type of show that it is just completely, completely different,” he said.

So what exactly does a perverted cop do in Charleston, South Carolina? He gets himself involved in a sex scandal, of course. “The police department in Charleston is completely messed up and deeply corrupt from the ground up, and there’s this huge sex scandal that’s going on within the police department, because my character has an inappropriate relationship with one of the police officers,” Hatosy said. “She ends up losing her job because of some of the things that went on between the two of them. They’re pretty tawdry, and they involve the police cars and uniforms. It’s some indecent stuff. Anyways, she loses her job and this case becomes the whole arc of this case is the first season, and both Cam’s [Gigandet] character, Anna’s [Wood] character, while they’re dealing with other cases, this is sort of the central case. And you kind of learn what went on and there’s a lot of lies and things that are uncovered. Everybody has a secret. It’s pretty damn entertaining.”

Entertaining or not, the show doesn’t sound like a typical CBS choice. And that’s exactly why they chose it. “You’ve seen the kinds of things [CBS does] with CSI and those shows. The way [Reckless] was presented to me is they were going to try to do a cable-type show.”

But on an episode-by-episode basis, Reckless can be described as a legal procedural with a sexy twist. “The two main characters, played by Cam and Anna, are lawyers and they are definitely attracted to one another. But one minute, you think they’re going to get it on, and the next minute, they’re not, and you just want them to get it on because they’re so beautiful and attractive and they have all this chemistry. And then they’re fighting in court,” Hatosy said, adding, “He takes his shirt off, so people get really excited about that.”

But Gigandet’s abs won’t be the only draw for the show. Bad or not, Hatosy thinks fans are going to “like to hate” his character. “[Terry] is clearly the bad guy, but it comes from a real place, because I think, ultimately, he does like the girl that got fired and that drives him and motivates him. He just behaves like an immature male when we don’t get what we want. But he’s a lot of fun. That character was a lot of fun to play.”

Reckless premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on CBS.


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