If it seems Megan Mullally is breaking her way into a returning sitcom, she actually was invited.
A two-time Emmy winner as the high-pitched-in-all-ways Karen Walker on "Will & Grace" (still shown in weekday repeats on Lifetime), the typically amusing actress surely isn't lacking work. She's a regular on Adult Swim's "Childrens Hospital"; she's had guest roles lately on ABC's "Happy Endings" and NBC's "Parks and Recreation" (which co-stars her husband, Nick Offerman) and "Up All Night"; and she's supplying voices for the second season of Fox's animated "Bob's Burgers," which returns Sunday.
MEET THE NEW BOSS Mullally also is climbing aboard the second season of another Fox show. She plays the new boss of Contra Security as "Breaking In" resumes tomorrow at 9:30 p.m., with the humor more office-based as she joins continuing cast members, including Christian Slater, Bret Harrison and Odette Annable.
"I remembered seeing the billboards, but I hadn't seen the show," she says of being offered the role. "They sent me three episodes, and I thought, 'This definitely has potential.' I got on the phone with the producers, and they were very nice, and we talked about what qualities might play best for my character. Then, they wrote two sample scenes, and I thought this was something I could have a good time with."
Although Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville") has left "Breaking In," Mullally is enjoying working with another newcomer to the show: Welsh actress Erin Richards, who plays her assistant. "She's quite good, and she adds a fun element," Mullally says. "And she's not hard to look at. It's a really fun group."
"The difference is that on 'Party Down,' they didn't miss a beat," Mullally notes. "They just plugged me in and carried on exactly the same as before. 'Breaking In' has been completely revamped, and it's almost like starting from scratch."
Mullally has nothing but praise for Slater. "He couldn't have been nicer in welcoming me," she said. "He sent me a lovely email when I decided to do the show, and he sent flowers on my birthday. He really is quite a gentleman, and we have good chemistry, which is helpful."