'Battle Creek' stars crack cases, clash.

AuthorMoore, Frazier

Byline: Frazier Moore

NEW YORK -- An odd-couple cop drama with a not-so-buddy comedy streak: That's "Battle Creek,'' which pairs a hard-bitten detective from the budget-strapped police force in Battle Creek, Michigan, with a golden-boy agent in the flush FBI who seems incapable of making an uncertain move.

Needless to say, these partners-under-duress clash in personality and crime-solving style.

"Battle Creek,'' which airs on CBS at 10 p.m. Sunday, stars Dean Winters as cynical Detective Russ Agnew and Josh Duhamel as silky-smooth Special Agent Milton Chamberlain. In separate phone conversations recently, they discussed their new series, their roles and each other.

WINTERS: "After a snowstorm last February I thought, 'I haven't felt the snow on my head in a long time.' I had long hair at the time, and I went and shaved it. The very next day I got a call about 'Battle Creek,' and I went out to L.A. for a meeting on the show. I got the job, but they said, 'Please don't cut your hair again!' ''

DUHAMEL: "I liked the script, but my character I wasn't so sure about. He seemed too button-down and perfect. I said to the producers, 'Tell me there's more to this guy than that.' The more we talked, the more interesting he became.''

WINTERS: "We've seen cop shows where the partners don't get along -- most recently, 'True Detective.' But this show is lighthearted and felt like something fresh. Plus, we film in L.A., and it was 4 degrees in New York. I wanted to get out of there!''

DUHAMEL: "I took this role because it was a good opportunity to misdirect the audience. I'm not trying to play a handsome guy who everybody loves. I want to play a guy who's hard to pin down.''

WINTERS: "I think Josh feels like he has something to prove, because it's so easy to pin him down as just the good-looking guy, which can be a burden. And he's a great-looking guy all right! You have to put on sunglasses when he walks into the room, just to tone it down. He deals with that by being a good actor.''

DUHAMEL (whose credits include "All My Children'' as well as "Las Vegas'' and the feature "Transformers,'' and whose wife of five years is Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas): "I'm trying to surprise...

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