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A New Man for "Old Christine": Why I Hope Blair Underwood Sticks Around For a While

Every once in a while, there's a recurring star that comes onto a show that feels so deliriously right that you just hope they'll end up sticking around long-term.

CBS's hit comedy Old Christine has done remarkably well at finding actors who manage to mesh seamlessly with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the rest of the cast... so well that you hope that they'll turn up again and again every week. Like Wanda Sykes, who recurs as Christine's best friend and business partner. Or Scott Bakula, who turned up earlier (with a terrifying wig/Shirley Jones haircut) this season as a love interest for Christine (and ended up being New Christine's beloved daddy).

Yes, readers, I am talking about Blair Underwood, currently recurring on Old Christine as Ritchie's teacher, the dashing Mr. Daniel Harris, who has so far made a melty puddle out of Christine Campbell. (Hell, they hid out together in the restroom of an ice cream parlor to avoid the merciless glare of Meanie Moms Marly and Lindsay.)

It's no surprise then that Christine has fallen for Daniel (even the Meanie Moms seem to be more than smitten), but the show's producers have (so far) wisely keep these two apart, even if they seem to be using Ritchie as an excuse for their enforced distance.

And lately the results have been as hysterical as they are touching. In last night's episode ("Ritchie Scores"), Christine turns up looking rather well turned out for a parent-teacher conference with Daniel and, despite their attempts to remain "friends," she inadvertently wound up holding Daniel's hand for what seemed a full five minutes. But Daniel seems to have a hold on everyone around him, as even Christine's ex-husband Richard developed quite the heterosexual male crush on Daniel as he and Christine "competed" for his affections. Truly hilarious, especially given Richard's fear that son Ritchie might be gay for his disdain of sports and desire to hang out with girls (a fear allayed, I might add, when Ritchie ends up kissing all of them).

It's obvious that Christine and Daniel will eventually get together (the chemistry between them is palpable), but I am hoping that Old Christine's producers prolong this sweet torture a little longer. I love seeing Christine all hot, bothered, and surprisingly put together (no pudding-stained pyjamas for these parent-teacher conferences) and watch as the always-talented Julia Louis Dreyfus flirts, falls, and generally gets herself tripped up by her attraction to Ritchie's teacher. (Her reaction to Daniel's new way of saying "good morning" to his friends was absolutely priceless.)

Plus, since Christine seems to have abysmal luck with the men in her life (who all seem to disappear after a few episodes' worth of guest spots), I'm hoping that there's a chance Daniel (and Blair Underwood) will stick around for a little while longer if they don't consummate their feelings for one another. After all, it could be a little weird for Ritchie (content to skip to the beat of his own drum), and they should put his needs first.

After all, won't somebody think of the children?

"Old Christine" airs Monday nights at 9:30 pm ET/PT on CBS. Look for it to make a leap to an earlier 8:30 pm timeslot in March.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Dateline (NBC); Gilmore Girls (CW); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC); House (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: The 33rd Annual People's Choice Awards (CBS; 9-11 pm); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); Veronica Mars (CW); Big Day/Big Day (ABC); House (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: Law & Order: SVU (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9 pm: Veronica Mars.

On tonight's repeat episode ("Lord of the Pi's"), Veronica investigates the disappearance of Selma Rose Hearst (guest star Patricia Hearst), the wealthy granddaughter of Hearst College's founder, who conveniently vanishes the very night before she is to cast a swing vote to determine the fate of the Greek system. Meanwhile, more problems ahead for Veronica and Logan and Veronica is terrified after her near-attack by the Hearst College rapist.

10 pm: Doctor Who on BBC America.

While Sci Fi may have wrapped Season Two of the newest incarnation of Doctor Who (complete with another new Doctor, played by David Tennant), catch up on Season One, beginning anew tonight on BBC America, as the Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston) meets Rose Tyler for the first time.


Loved last night's episode. And I agree about Underwood. He's the best yet of Christine's love interests. There is definitely some chemistry there and he plays a good straight man to her zany character. It was hysterical watching her and Richard compete for his attention.

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