CBS’ Rules of Engagement is back. Again. On Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c. Where it used to be. Successfully. (Only to get punted for one newbie sitcom or the other.) And yet back it is, and big viewership will assuredly follow.
What does Megyn Price, who plays Audrey, think of the six-and-a-half-year-old comedy’s “Comeback Kid” status? “It’s not even that we’re the comeback kid,” she tells TVLine. “It’s more a testament to our fans, because they literally find us no matter what. Our numbers stay the same whether we have a great lead-in [such as The Big Bang Theory] or a not-great lead-in. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.”
Most recently, Rules – after saving the time slot’s bacon in the wake of How to Be a Gentleman quickly cratering – was sidelined by Rob, the latest untested newbie to displace the proven laffer. “Literally every year they try to find a show to replace us,” Price notes with a laugh. “We don’t really understand why they fight so hard to not have tons of viewers!”
The millions of viewers who will tune in for Rules‘ latest run can expect more of the “back to basics” storytelling that typified the first half of Season 7, with Audrey and husband Jeff (played by Patrick Warburton) screwing up equal amounts.
“Finding out more about how incredibly flawed they both are to me explains why they’re together. Then I get it,” says Price. “When Audrey is perfect and Jeff is messed up I have no clue why they’re married. And in the upcoming episodes they really show us how wrong they both can be.”
For starters, tonight Jeff will attempt to surprise Audrey with a “romantic” scavenger hunt, only to end up “looking like a giant ass as usual,” says Price. Conversely, Audrey will have egg on her face next Thursday when her less-than-altruistic bid to raise money for what she believes to be a life-saving operation for her housekeeper instead funds a boob job. “And then suddenly Jeff’s on board with it!” Price previews. “Gee, how did that happen?”
Of course, part of Rules‘ allure is not just the domestic squabbling between Jeff, Audrey and Adam and Jennifer (played by Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich), or Russell’s (David Spade) latest boondoggle, but the outrageous situations the characters at times find themselves in. And sometimes those moments catch the eye not just of Nielsen families, but CBS’ Standards & Practices watchdogs.
Price recalls a Season 6 episode in which Audrey, while on a hike with Adam, needed to help unzip his pants when his hands became badly infected by poison ivy. For reasons too involved to get into here, she kneeled down to do so while wearing just a bra.
“Literally every Standards & Practices person was on our set, absolutely watching the rehearsal of this one set-up,” the actress shares. And their only note? “We just want to make sure there’s no head-bobbing,” Price quotes them as saying. “It still looked scandalous, but they came to monitor the head-bobbing.”
While scandalous is not Price’s default setting, she will do anything in the name of getting a laugh – as she did in a Season 4 scene where an ascending elevator, snagged on Audrey’s dress, effectively undressed her in front of an room full of people.
“I’m not an exhibitionist in any way, shape or form. I don’t even like having my picture taken!” she attests. “But as I always say, if it’s exhibitionism for the joke, fine. If it’s just about me being sexy, I’m not doing it.”