Jerry O'Connell said he has tremendous respect for the men and women of law-enforcement, but would never consider that career path himself.

The 44-year-old, New York native talked to reporters recently via teleconference about his new WGN America comedy "Carter," which casts him as the former star of a TV cop show who goes to work as a consulting detective for his hometown police department after a public embarrassment.

Asked if he is interested in following "Lois & Clark" alum Dean Cain -- who recently became a reserve police officer in Idaho -- O'Connell was crystal clear that he is not.

"That's great for Dean Cain," O'Connell said.

"There's no way in real life I'm doing anything remotely close to doing anything in law enforcement. I have the utmost respect for them and I couldn't handle it. I'm not smart enough to be a cop in real life, so I tip my hat to him. It's a lot more fun playing a guy who thinks he's a cop because he plays a guy who's a cop on TV."

The erstwhile child actor, who counts "Sliders" and "Stand By Me" among his many credits, has extensive experience playing a small-screen crime-solver, having spent six years co-starring on the procedural "Crossing Jordan."

"There was a dead body at the beginning of the episode and then we went through a bunch of suspects and maybe got a clue at the end of Act 3. Then there was a chase scene at the end of Act 4. I loved working on that show. I loved the whole cast. I loved our star, Jill Hennessy," he recalled.

It wasn't something he wanted to do indefinitely, however.

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"After about four seasons, a lot of the people start to move on and you're sort of like, 'I don't want to complain...' Because you're getting paid and people hate actors who complain about their jobs because it really is a cushy, great life. But you do artistically feel like, 'Man, I've done 100 episodes of this and it's the same thing,'" he said.

O'Connell said he knows the premise for "Carter" might sound a little familiar.

"Admittedly, it's a lot like 'Castle,' except 'Castle' was a novelist. It's almost like 'Castle' on steroids because this guy's a TV actor, so if you're a fan of the 'Law & Orders' and the 'Monks' and the 'Castles,' this is going to be your show because it sort of makes fun of that world."

He emphasized he loved working with his co-stars in "Carter," which is set to premiere Tuesday.

"Kristian Bruun and Sydney Poitier are just top-notch actors. We're really fortunate to have them around us. It really classes up the joint," O'Connell said, adding he and Brunn have gotten particularly close.

"I text him every day, sometimes twice a day. It's funny. He's a lot like his character. He tries to be cool. I would say I'm a little more dependent on him than he is on me, but we text each other at a minimum a couple times a day, which is -- I hope I don't get in trouble for this -- but it's more than I text my wife (Rebecca Romijn,)" he said.

O'Connell said he liked how, although they may have fallen out of touch over the years, the fictional friends share a lasting bond and easily reconnect.

"My character goes to Hollywood and he becomes this big star and then he moves back home. They pick up the conversation right where they left off," O'Connell said.

The actor can also be heard voicing the Man of Steel in "The Death of Superman" and will host the analysis program "Real Men Watch Bravo" starting in the fall.

Photo credit: Carter/WGN America