McDonough immediately starting thinking "prison look" once word came down last week that the crime-family dramedy had received a green light from the network.
"I'm growing the handlebars out for the character," he said, showing off his burgeoning stubble. "And I'm hitting the weights really hard. Eating as much chicken and protein as possible."
McDonough will star as the crime family head with a lot of time for bodybuilding after being sent to prison for his misdeeds. His onscreen wife, Virginia Madsen, then decides to raise her kids outside of the family crime business so they don't end up with handlebar mustaches of their own in prison one day. McDonough calls it "Sopranos set in the South."
Despite the crime life, McDonough will continue in his good guy persona. "I'm a good guy in 'Scoundrels,' " he says. "I just happen to be a crime good guy."
Meanwhile he admits feeling blessed that he has another major project right on the heels of leaving a very popular series. "After a year of 'Desperate Housewives' it's amazing to get another gift like this," he says. "It's a guarantee of eight episodes to air. I'm just happy. This doesn't happen very often."