CENTURY CITY, Calif. - Don't hate Amy Brenneman because she's beautiful.
If you must hate the star of CBS' "Judging Amy" - and don't expect it to be easy, because she seems like a likable person - hate her because she's seven months pregnant and still able to squeeze into a pair of skintight leather pants.
The baby must be on hiatus this week.
There was, in fact, an audible gasp from a roomful of reporters visiting the show's Twentieth Century Fox set earlier this week when it was revealed that Brenneman's baby, who won't be making an appearance on the show, is due in March.
"I have this theory about glamorous actresses, of which Miss Brenneman is one," Tyne Daly, who plays Brenneman's mother, joked later. "I don't believe they actually have their own babies. They get their stunt people to do it for them."
But Daly, who rode out one of her own pregnancies while starring on "Cagney & Lacey," doesn't underestimate her co-star's achievement.
"She got pregnant in a very polite way," Daly said.
"I got to celebrate my pregnancy, both in my life and at work, and she has to hide that pregnancy at work, which gives her less room to enjoy it as a woman," Daly said.
"If my ankles were swelling, so were Mary Beth's. And her two Amys over there [she gestured toward Brenneman], one Amy is pregnant, the other one
isn't. And that makes it quite a different experience, I think."
One thing that's likely to make the experience different indeed is the writers' decision to allow Brenneman's character, Judge Amy Gray, to finally get out from under those robes this season, as she's put in the position of deciding whether to have an affair with a younger man - played by a twentysomething model - or an older one, who'll be played by Gregory Harrison, a guest star from last season.
One of them at least gets lucky, executive producer Barbara Hall indicated, adding that the sexy scenes were shot earlier in the pregnancy.