PASADENA, Calif. - When it comes to talking up "Awake," his new series, actor Jason Isaacs would rather be tight-lipped.
"One of the questions we've got a lot from journalists is, 'What is the end? Do you know what the end (of this story) is?' And the answer is, 'I'm afraid to say, that we do,' " says Isaacs, who plays Michael Britten, a detective dealing with two separate realities: one where his wife survived a car crash; and another in which his son does.
Whichever is true has an unfortunate attachment to it. There's not a scenario in which his son and wife survive.
"We've discussed (what) we do know at some point. And we have a plan," Isaacs says and then deadpans, "And we're never going to tell anyone, so you can stop asking."
"Awake" (debuting 10 p.m. EST Thursday, March 1, NBC) is a new spin on the overused crime-procedural format of recent years. Week after week, Michael is determined to find out which is real life and which is a dream.
"It's not a mistake that his mind has come up with this dream. It's not by accident," says Isaacs, best known to audiences for his role as villain Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" films.
"He's a great cop. He's an instinctive detective and human being. He's the perfect person to be in this situation. I think it makes him a better policeman. His antennae are out all the time."
As a husband and the father of two girls, Isaacs, 48, has an insight into what Michael is going through.
"He watches things, and he feels things. His emotions are closer to the surface, possibly," the Liverpool, England, native says. "What's difficult and interesting, I think, for the audience is that every time there's a case, he has to ask himself, 'Am I imagining this? Which one am I making up?' He's not stupid. He's not insane.
"He knows that somewhere he's creating one of these worlds, but he's not confident enough about which one he's making up to dismiss them."
Other highlights for the week of Feb. 26 to March 3 (listings subject to change; check local listings):
"The 84th Academy Awards" (8:30 p.m., ABC). Billy Crystal is back as host. The movie to beat for Best Picture: "The Artist," a black-and-white silent film.
"Hoarders" (8 p.m., A&E). A hoarder claims the habit is an artistic choice. I need to remember that the next time I decide not to clean the house.
"Good Morning America" (7 a.m., ABC). The cast of the next "Dancing with the Stars" will be announced.
"Parenthood" (10 p.m., NBC). The family gathers for a big event as season three comes to a close.
"Psych" (10 p.m., USA Network). Shawn and Gus team up to find a way to break into a late billionaire's treasure.
"America's Next Top Model: British Invasion" (9 p.m., CW). The 18th season of the competition features British models fighting for the title.
"Breathless Bride: Dying To Live" (10 p.m., TLC). A dying woman awaits a lifesaving procedure while planning her dream wedding in this docu-special.
"Family Affair" (8 p.m., OWN). A filmmaker documents his family's struggle with drug abuse over several years in this new series.
"Young Justice" (10 a.m., Cartoon Network). The second-generation Justice League of America returns for a new round of adventures.
"Blue-Eyed Butcher" (8 p.m., Lifetime). Based on a true story, this cable movie focuses on a Texas woman who tied up her husband and stabbed him 200 times. Lisa Edelstein and Justin Bruening star.