TED DANSON

Af­ter five years as crim­i­nol­o­gist D.B. Rus­sell on var­i­ous CSI series, the Cheers star, 68, set­tles into The Good Place, the new “af­ter­life” com­edy pre­mier­ing Sept. 19 on NBC. He plays Michael, the mid­dle man­ager in charge of the “heav­enly” des­ti­na­tion for

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - NEWS -

How would you de­scribe The Good Place?

It’s a com­edy, but at the same time the con­ver­sa­tion around this funny por­trayal of the af­ter­life is about what it is to be good and what it is to be bad.

Who is Michael?

He’s waited 700 years to get his first neigh­bor­hood to de­sign and make sure that lit­er­ally ev­ery blade of grass is per­fect. In the pi­lot, we’ve had a cler­i­cal er­ror, and all of a sud­den I’m in way over my head.

What are you most proud of?

I’ve been re­ally blessed with great writ­ing. It was per­fect to be a bar­tender [ Cheers] with a bunch of rowdy, funny peo­ple in my 30s. It was fun to be a grumpy doc­tor [ Becker] in my 40s and early 50s. It was fun to be hang­ing around with Ja­son Schwartz­man and Zach Galifianakis [ Bored to Death]. And I re­ally love The Good Place.

How did you get in­volved with the or­ga­ni­za­tion Oceana?

I grew up in a sci­en­tific com­mu­nity. My fa­ther was the direc­tor of a mu­seum in Flagstaff, Ari­zona. I think that sense of stew­ard­ship rubbed off a lit­tle bit. I got in­volved with oceans be­cause I moved into a neigh­bor­hood that was try­ing to keep oil wells from be­ing drilled in Santa Mon­ica Bay.

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