The biggest difference between Cheryl Hines' work on "Curb Your Enthusiam" and "Suburgatory"? She doesn't have to write her own lines on the new ABC sitcom.
Hines joined castmates to talk about the new show for the final panel of Television Critics Summer press tour. It ended the tour on a high: "Suburgatory" looks to be one of the most popular shows with critics this season, which means it is doomed. (I keed.)
The show, created by "Parks and Recreation" writer Emily Kapnek, follows a young girl (Tessa Altman) forced to move from Manhattan to a plastic suburb full of shallow schemers. Hines' character emerges as one of her few allies. (Other stars include Jeremy Sisto and "Entourage"'s Rex Lee.)
"'Curb Your Enthusiasm' is meant to feel almost like a documentary and everything's low-key. We didn't even have a hair stylist for the first four seasons. So it was really an exploration of Larry's neurosis," Hines said. "Here, this is just a completely different feeling. Emily has created this entire world. ... All of the dialogue is very clever and smart and it's been clearly written, as opposed to 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'"
Which isn't to say she doesn't like creating her own dialogue on Larry David's largely improvised show.
"I loved it. It's such a fun, free way to work. But it's different because when I improvise in front of a live audience I find it terrifying," said the Groundlings veteran. "When I improvise on 'Curb Your Enthusiam' I find it liberating. ... It's a lot of fun shooting when you're improvising because you never know what's going to happen, you never know what people are going to say, and you don't have to memorize lines.
"But here it's kind of nice to know what you're going to say, to be able to prepare. To think about your character and what this means to the rest of the show."
Hines says she doesn't know if "Curb" will be back after this season -- David makes these decisions one season at a time -- but she said she would be happy to return.
"I would do anything that Larry ever asks me to do," she said. "You can print that -- we'll see what happens. I''m sure I'll get a phone call immediately."