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Jim Belushi feels at home on ‘Defenders’ set

Series shoots on stage where 'According to Jim' shot

Jim Belushi is settling in nicely to his new digs on the set of “The Defenders” now that the CBS dramedy has been picked up for a full season.

But they’re not really new digs. As the gods of soundstage distribution would have it, Belushi wound up right back on the same stage and in the same dressing room where he shot the ABC sitcom “According to Jim” for eight seasons — Stage 9 at CBS Studio Center, aka CBS Radford, in Studio City.

“When I heard they were considering Radford, I was all over it — I love Radford,” Belushi says. He took it as a good omen that CBS execs listened to his request. And he was floored when they told him he’d be moving back to Stage 9.

Belushi’s man cave hadn’t changed much in the season that he’d been away. But he did insist on one major upgrade: a new rug.

“I texted my friend (on the lot) and said, ‘I think this rug has been here since James Arness shot ‘Gunsmoke’ here.’ There were definitely some horseshoe marks on the floor,” Belushi quips.

The serendipity with Stage 9 is just one reason why Belushi is having a great time working on “Defenders,” which revolves around two flashy defense attorneys in Las Vegas. He’s clicking with co-star Jerry O’Connell, and he’s grateful the scribes give him the freedom to ad-lib now and again.

“Everything with this show continues to get cooler,” Belushi gushes. “The network is very supportive and involved, the cast relationships are solidifying and the rhythms are become easier.”

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