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Apr 03,2009
Eric McCormack wasting no time moving on post-'Trust Me'; Amy Poehler isn't letting internet disses get her down
by Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smi

Eric McCormack certainly isn't sitting around nursing his wounds over the fate of his TNT "Trust Me" series, whose cancellation "is not official, but it's not looking healthy," as he puts it.

The former "Will & Grace" star has the funny, big-screen "Alien Trespass" coming out today (4/3). He's building a new home in Vancouver. He's about to begin rehearsals for his May 4-17 run in "The Fantasticks" at UCLA. And he's just wrapped the pilot for the untitled potential ABC series in which he'll play a heart surgeon.

"It's not 'Grey's Anatomy'; it's definitely a half-hour comedy," he tells us. "It's about two best friends, one of whom (Reno Wilson) had kids early, and now they're gone, the other of whom has just started a family. I'm the one with the new baby." The creator of the show is "Scrubs'" Tad Quill, and his way with a script was part of the allure for Eric. "I wasn't really thinking of heading back into sitcoms. I wanted 'Trust Me' to work."

The prospective new show, he notes, is different from "W&G."

"It's very dry, very witty, very understated. We'll see what the result is."

He's something else again in "Alien Trespass," the 1950s-style sci-fi chiller from "X-Files" director R.W. Goodwin, in which he not only plays the pipe-smoking resident scientist of the town that has an alien infestation problem —' he also plays the alien inhabiting the body of said scientist.

"I wanted to go even funnier, really. Bob was always reining me in. He wanted it to be real for that time. … But when you have a pipe, it's hard not to have fun with it," Eric admits.

As far as the new family home in Vancouver, "We've always kind of split our time between Vancouver and L.A.," he says of wife Janet and their 6-year-old son. "For now, home is definitely Los Angeles, but we have our eyes to the future."

FUNNY LADY: Amy Poehler isn't letting Internet disses against her new "Parks and Recreation" show get her down. "When you're 5'2", you're blond, and you're a woman, you get underestimated a lot," she tells Entertainment Weekly, in the issue hitting stands tomorrow (4/3). "I like being underestimated, though. My grandmother used to say, 'More than a handful is wasted.' ... She was talking about my boobs."

In the profile, Poehler also addresses the issue of comparisons between her and her fellow "Saturday Night Live" alumna pal Tina Fey. "Tina's amazing," says Poehler of the "30 Rock" star. "We've been friends for so long. [But] it's kinda funny — they don't ask Steve [Carell], 'What do you think of Alec [Baldwin]?' Or 'How are you and Alec the same?'"

Poehler's husband, Will Arnett, rings in with his view that "Even though Amy's been doing a lot of sketch comedy for the last 100 years, she's really a better actress than maybe people know."

She hopes to get several seasons to prove him right, but she does have a plan B just in case: "I'm going to take all my money out and invest it in gold. Then melt that gold down and build a gold hotel. Then have people stay in the hotel, paying only in gold. And then light the whole thing on fire, melt it again and start from scratch."

MOVING RIGHT ALONG: Sam Jones III, who's been busy playing med student/EMT Chazz on "ER," has traded in his scrubs for a football jersey to portray a hot college freshman running back in Spike TV's summer-debuting "Blue Mountain State." He's been training hard, "getting to the gym, working out. I want to look like a real football player, walk like a football player." He's been out on the field with college players. "You think, 'OK, I can play football,' but then you're out with the real guys who are ready to go to the pros and — it's crazy," he admits with a laugh.

The 25-year-old one-time "Smallville" actor (son of former Boston Celtics star Sam Jones) describes the forthcoming series as "super funny. Chris Romano, who wrote the pilot, did Sarah Silverman's show. 'Blue Mountain State' definitely pushes the envelope," he says. "A lot of things went on in the pilot that could cause controversy when it gets on the air."

Meanwhile, Jones, who also has the Hallmark Channel's "Safe Harbor" movie coming up in May, says he's grateful for the time he got to put in on "ER," which has its swan song tonight (4/2). "Just to see their level of acting was great — working with Eriq LaSalle and Noah Wyle and Angela Bassett, one of the most powerful actors I've ever worked with, was an honor."

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING UNUSUAL: Casting forces have been on the lookout for attractive, well-educated and well put together women leading "dynamic double lives," mainstream by day, something else by night, for a network docudrama.

Notices also went out recently for a high-profile celebrity who has gout and can help raise awareness in a public relations campaign. Hey, might as well get something out of it.

And what a sign of the times, that casting has been taking place for a parody called "Broke as Hell" — for an upcoming hour-long education special for "ABC News."

With reports by Emily Feimster.

Copyright 2009 Marilyn Beck And Stacy Jenel Smith - Distributed By Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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