Most of us know Goran Visnjic from “ER,” though admittedly I remember him best from bumping into him at the veterinarian shortly after my dog chomped on a chicken carcass. I remember that day for a lot of reasons, but the good part (other than my dog being no worse for wear) was that Visnjic was friendly, charming and had a really cute pug. Really, who could ask for more from a heartthrob?
These days, though, Visnjic isn’t playing a character anything like noble Dr. Luka Kovac. Instead, he’s taken on the tough guy role of Schiller on “Red Widow” (premiering Sun. March 3 at 9 p.m.), a murderous mafia kingpin who recruits Marta (Radha Mitchell) into working for him after her husband’s bloody death. He’s joined in the cast by Sterling Beaumon, who plays Marta’s vengeful teen son, Gabriel. When I caught up with the pair of them at this winter’s TCAs, they told me about why they don’t mind that their show is a midseason replacement (and even think it’s an advantage), compared “Red Widow” to “Breaking Bad,” and hinted their characters could both be gone by the end of the season. Let’s hope not.