After a particularly grueling day on the set of "The Walking Dead," star Andrew Lincoln went back to a dark, empty house alone and started to feel uneasy.
"It felt like 'The Munsters' house to me for some reason," he said, "and I started to lock all the doors, even the one to my bedroom, just in case.
"You know, just in case the apocalypse happens overnight."
The 39-year-old actor isn't known for being squeamish. Playing Georgia deputy Rick Grimes on "Dead" (returning 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC), he is subjected to days and days of zombies, bloodletting and life-or-death decisions after the dead come back to life. Rick is the leader of a band of human survivors trying to find normalcy in a world turned upside-down.
When the series returns, Rick and his group face off against a crazed despot simply known as The Governor (David Morrisey), who has created an idyllic community, safe from the zombies, though he has an evil agenda behind it all.
"This season has pushed me to the brink in ways I've never been pushed before," said Lincoln, who "American-ized" his native British accent or the role. "I love that about this season.
"It's been hard, but it's been so great to play these."
Among Rick's trials this season, his pregnant wife dies shortly after childbirth. Married and the father of two, the scenes have been particularly poignant of him.
With "Dead" a hit (10 million viewers a week), Lincoln finds new career avenues opening. He's getting movie scripts coming his way. He won't, however, do any Rick-like roles.
On a personal level, Lincoln is adjusting to life in the United States, living most of the year near Atlanta, where "Dead" is filmed.
"When I first moved here, I used to be known around the neighborhood as that guy with the funny accent," he said.
"Now, I'm known as that guy who runs every morning around the neighborhood. It's nice. It feels like home."
Other highlights for the week of Feb. 10-16. All times Eastern. Check local listings:
-- "Grammy Awards" (8 p.m. CBS). LL Cool J is the host of the event, broadcast live from Los Angeles. Lumineers, Mumford and Sons and Justin Timberlake are performing.
-- "Fashion Police" (9 p.m. E!). A special edition gets catty over the red carpet fashion at the Grammy Awards. Joan Rivers leads the cat calls.
-- "State of the Union Address" (9 p.m., major networks and news cable outlets). President Obama delivers the traditional address live before Congress. A Republican response follows.
-- "Zero Hour" (8 p.m. ABC). A paranormal investigator (Anthony Edwards) gets caught up in a conspiracy that stretches back centuries and endangers his wife.
-- "The Collector" (9 p.m. SyFy). A burglar picks the wrong house. The family inside is being held by a sadist, putting him in a position of being the family's protector.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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