James Van Der Beek

Jim Spellman/WireImage

"Are you allowed to see Katie Holmes?"

Yep. You heard it. That was the question a reporter threw at Dawson Leary James Van Der Beek, star of the new ABC series Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, when the cast met with TV critics today at the network's winter press tour.

The Beek also told us after the panel he was offered a spot on Dancing with the Stars. So why didn't he slip into some sparkly hotpants and go for it?

"I was too busy working," James says of turning down DWTS. "It looks like fun, but it's just a huge time commitment." Still, all is not lost because James gets to do Dancing with the Stars on his new comedy Apartment 23, in which he plays himself. "I think I'm allowed to say that within [the show], I won Dancing With the Stars...The way I do it [on the show]is kind of obsessiveand just very extreme. And that is even more fun. I had four months to learn my dance as opposed to four weeks."

Van Der Beek just laughed and shrugged in response to the Katie Q ("Are you allowed to see Katie Holmes?"), but Apartment 23 creator Nahnatchka Kahn joked, "Yes [James is], but no one else is. She's going to be guest starring on our show in a black shroud." Zinga!

As for whether he keeps in touch with all of the core Dawson's cast, James says, "It's like somebody you went to high school with. As the years go on, it gets longer and longer but you always have that shared experience."

Apartment 23 is one of the most promising new comedies this season (one of our faves), in part because James is not afraid to go there when it comes to making fun of himself.

James jokes he decided it was OK to start poking fun at himself  "when the residuals stopped coming in...I had to audition against four James Van Der Beeks for this role!" He adds, "I tell them to go for whatever is funniest and don't worry about offending me."

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is coming midseason on ABC.

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