We found out last week that Henry’s a tough old goat, so now we can bring you some tidbits from our Psych set visit last May when we chatted with Corbin Bernsen. He was very funnily tight-lipped when he arrived to talk with us, because they weren’t spilling Henry’s fate yet. When he warmed up, he covered a range of topics. Here’s part one of our discussion.
First, he marveled on his longevity in the TV industry. “[It’s] been an incredible ride…and [I’m] really blessed. I added up the other day, stick [Psych] with LA Law and it’s getting near 300 hours,” he says. “[This season, I will] actually cross that threshold.”
Landmarks aside, Henry’s shooting still rattled him because that script came in when there were still three episodes to film afterward. He wasn’t sure what the plan was for Henry for season 7 and he’d been down the road before of dumped, so you can’t blame him for being a little wary of what it all might mean.
“[This] is a cruel business. It’s a really, it’s fun and it’s a blast, but it can be really cruel,” he says. “[Ratings go down and then] you’re done. I remember when I got done with LA Law, I was with ICM, big agency, and the day the show was canceled I got kicked downstairs to like a junior agent….and that lasted about two weeks and then I was out of the agency.” He’s seen the other side, too, with an Emmy nomination for LA Law, opposite Bruce Willis, who won that year for Moonlighting.
He’s been delighted to have two experiences that set the standard for how to do TV right. “When you do something like LA Law, you think, “It’ll never be that good again, it’s like the first girl. [Then] as you progress through your life, and you go, ‘wow, I’m in another thing that’s running and I like these people like I did before,’ you realize it’s… amazing that you can still achieve these [moments],” he says. “I would say I probably took [LA Law] a little bit more for granted [than I do Psych]. That was a massive whirlwind…that was it…like being on Modern Family right now.”
Speaking of that ABC hit, Bernsen recounted a flight he shared with Ed O’Neill during one of the network up fronts. “I saw him on the plane and I’ve known Ed way back [since] we did a movie called Disorganized Crime together. [I’ve] known him for years [since we were both] struggling,” he says. “So, he’s got his feet up on the front seat of first class with his glasses on and his [hands on his belly]. He goes, ‘Man are you kidding? This is great?’ And he went all through it, and I used to think, ‘I’m the luckiest guy in show business, I’m 57 years old, I’ve had a great run, I’ve done a lot of stuff, I’ve done another hit show, I’m on another one now, we get paid very nicely by USA, we get treated extremely well…all of it is really, really good and I love my cast.’ And [O’Neil] said, ‘I got one more on you. I got Sofia [Vergara] as my wife.'”
You can catch Henry with his ex-wife tonight on Psych when Cybill Shepherd returns as Madeleine Spencer. Here’s a preview of “Juliet Takes a Luvvah,” which premieres at 10 pm E/9 pm C on USA. We’ll have more from our set visit next week!
Photo credit: Alan Zenuk/USA Network