The hunk next door

 

Patrick Fabian was killed off in last year's horror flick The Last Exorcism, but no worries, his acting career is alive and well.

Patrick Fabian was killed off in last year's horror flick The Last Exorcism, but no worries, his acting career is alive and well.

The Harrisburg, Pa., native, 46, is currently starring in CMT's new sitcom Working Class, opposite Ed Asner and Melissa Peterman (Reba). Fabian plays Rob, a grocery store boss who clashes (read: flirts) with his quirky staffer (Peterman).

If Working Class' plot sounds familiar, that's intentional.

``There may or may not be some sparks between us, a la Sam and Diane,'' says Fabian from his home in L.A. ``I think it helps fill the void that is lacking on network TV -- Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne, that kind of thing.''

Working with the 81-year-old Asner, who plays a curmudgeonly butcher, was a big draw. ``He walks on set the first day, and I say, `Dude, it's you!' '' recounts Fabian. ``He's built up a lifetime of goodwill with the audience so he can say the worst things in the world, and we all laugh.''

Unlike Fabian's colorful minister in Exorcism, he had to tone down the role as straight-man Rob.

``I have a lot of energy so I'll start laying into stuff trying to be this rock 'n' roll cool guy. But the director's like, `No, just stand back and look pretty on this one,' '' says Fabian, who has a 4-month-old daughter with wife Mandy. ``I'm kind of the good-looking boy next door, the resident hunk . . . . There are worse fates to be assigned on television, by the way.''

-- MADELEINE MARR

Working Class airs 8 p.n. Friday on CMT.

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