“Cougar Town” has gone from being on the edge of ABC’s bubble to becoming the jewel of TBS’ comedy crown.
The cable network announced on Wednesday (May 10) that it has acquired “Cougar Town” for a fourth season of 15 episode to air in early 2013. In addition, TBS has acquired the rights to the 61 “Cougar Town” episodes that aired on ABC.
“‘Cougar Town’ is a smart, whimsical sitcom that draws its humor from likable, relatable characters” blurbs Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. “We are thrilled to have ‘Cougar Town’ moving to the TBS neighborhood as the network continues to expand its slate of original comedy series.”
When it launched on ABC in the fall of 2009, “Cougar Town” was basically perceived as a vehicle for Courteney Cox. At the time, the comedy’s title made a little sense, though all involved acknowledged that it probably wasn’t reflective of the show’s actual plot or themes.
In short order, “Cougar Town” evolved into a true ensemble featuring Cox as well as Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, Christa Miller, Busy Philipps, Dan Byrd and Brian Van Holt and the show ceased to have anything to do with older women dating younger men (if it ever did).
“Cougar Town” was initially a hit airing after “Modern Family,” but left to fend for itself, the audience dwindled and when ABC scooped the show off the bubble last spring, it left it for a nebulous midseason slot. Hoping to build enthusiasm during its long absence, series co-creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, plus much of the show’s cast, toured the country in the winter doing viewing parties for die-hard fans, a tactic that earned praise from ABC execs, but couldn’t prevent low ratings in an incompatible, frequently preempted Tuesday slot this spring.
TBS’ comedy stable is built around repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” as well as “Conan” in late night, but the network has been looking for complimentary original programming. “Men at Work,” “Wedding Band” and “Sullivan & Son” are all premiering later this year.