BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Jennifer Garner (search) is expecting a baby, so her "Alias" character will be too, even though she's a globe-trotting spy.
"We are going to embrace the fact that she's pregnant," ABC programming chief Stephen McPherson (search) said, referring to the character, Sydney Bristow.
But the show will focus on making the situation realistic and not "campy," he said.
"We also don't want to put her in situations where she's endangering herself and the baby," making it difficult for viewers to suspend disbelief, he said.
Garner, 33, and Ben Affleck (search), 32, her co-star in the 2003 movie "Daredevil," wed in June. Their baby is due around Christmas, McPherson told the Television Critics Association on Tuesday.
"Alias" returns Sept. 29 for its fifth season in a new Thursday night time slot.
Asked if he thought the show might lose male viewers who eagerly anticipate seeing Garner in action, McPherson replied that "she'll be able to run a fair amount."
But he acknowledged her exploits would change when Garner is visibly pregnant. To protect the show's sex appeal quotient, a younger agent who is being mentored by Sydney will be added, he said.
That role has yet to be cast.
In the series, Sydney is in a relationship with another agent played by Michael Vartan — who Garner was romantically linked with in real life.