Jay Harrington warms up ‘Hot in Cleveland’

Wellesley native Jay Harrington has almost made it big on television a few times over. In 2003, he was cast in the US adaptation of the British show “Coupling,” but it was canceled after just a few months. In 2009, he had the lead in the ABC sitcom “Better Off Ted,” which was much loved by critics (partly because of Harrington’s costar, Portia de Rossi), but the series was canceled after a season. Harrington (inset) will attempt to go big on the small screen again this week when he begins an arc on the TV Land show “Hot in Cleveland.” He’s been cast as a love interest for Valerie Bertinelli’s character in the comedy, which also stars Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White. “Working on ‘Hot in Cleveland’ has been an absolute joy. I have never met any of these wonderful actresses before this experience, but have watched each one of them bring the funny for years,” Harrington told us by e-mail just before Thanksgiving. He also told us that he gets to work closely with another new cast member, Heather Locklear, who plays his ex. “I LOVED working with Heather. . . . She is such a sweet and FUNNY girl,” he told us (yes, in all caps). Harrington does still have family in Massachusetts and said he spent a week of his summer on Cape Cod. “My folks are down there all summer, so it’s great to get there and see family, eat lobster, and chill on the beach. And of course, cocktails at Baxter’s.” Harrington begins his “Hot in Cleveland” run on Wednesday.

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