By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
9:39 AM CDT, June 17, 2013
Look out "Franklin & Bash," Heather Locklear is taking charge of the firm.
The veteran TV actress joins the TNT legal dramedy for its third season beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday. She plays Rachel King, a no-nonsense partner at the law firm where Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been bending—make that ignoring—the rules for two seasons.
When the firm's owner, Stanton Infeld (Malcolm McDowell), makes Rachel their boss, she sets her sights on cleaning up the duo's unorthodox antics.
Locklear said earlier this month that Rachel might be tough and talented, but she's not ruthless like Amanda Woodward, the character Locklear made famous on two versions of "Melrose Place."
"She's not pulling shenanigans," Locklear told me during a call with reporters. "Just a few sexcapades."
One of those sexcapades involves kissing Jane Seymour, who returns as Peter's mother.
"She's great," Locklear said. "One of the executive producers was like, 'How do you feel about kissing a woman?' And I'm like, 'I've done that before onscreen, not in real life.' Then she said, 'How do you feel about kissing Jane Seymour?' And I go, 'I haven't done it before. Be nice to try.'"
Rachel doesn't hit it off so well with Peter and Jared. In the season premiere, she challenges the duo to a round of legal trivia during an appearance on "Piers Morgan Tonight" that results in a stripping down of the guys' egos--and more. (Read more about the nude scene here.)
Despite their onscreen sparring, Locklear said she's been having a great time with her new costars, Meyer and Gosselaar.
"I think anyone would have instant chemistry with those two boys. That was pretty much right away," she said, adding later that the actors are just as fun and funny offscreen as on. "They are the same. They might be worse or better--whichever way you want to look at it. Yes, they're awesome."
Gosselaar has equally nice things to say about Locklear. "She's a sweetheart," he said in a separate call. "She came on set always prepared, and she fit right in with the family, and has a great sense of humor and doesn't take herself too seriously. She was a perfect fit."
Locklear, whose credits also include "Dynasty" and "T.J. Hooker," hasn't been a series regular since the second iteration of "Melrose Place" ended in 2010. But she's always loved being on TV, she said, and "Franklin & Bash" was a perfect fit because it's different than what she's done.
She's playing a lawyer for the first time in her career, she said, and one who's talented to boot. "I like that she's strong and she's well-educated and knows world leaders and knows her business," Locklear said of Rachel.
The former "Spin City" star also said her new gig gives her the opportunity to do comedy again, albeit with a bit of drama.
"I loved 'Boston Legal.' I loved 'Ally McBeal,'" she said of two dramedies in which she guest-starred. "['Franklin & Bash'] is similar to that. It's a fun show."
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