Last Friday, Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence announced via Twitter that he was back at work plotting the show’s third season and starting the year with the “traditional ‘should we change the title?’” conversation. “How many of you (if you like show) have had trouble getting others to watch due to crappy/lame/cheesy title? Curious,” he wrote. Apparently, enough of his followers piped up, because he later followed up with, “Screw it. I’m changing it…. Seriously, we just decided.” Of course, ABC has yet to sign off on that. (The network had no comment when contacted by EW.) But Lawrence makes a solid case on Twitter: He says he wanted to change the title last year to Sunshine State or Grown Ups, but the network balked because it already had Mr. Sunshine (which has now been canceled) and there was that Adam Sandler movie Grown Ups (which we’ve now all forgotten). He also explains that there’s more behind reigniting this debate than the widely acknowledged feeling that the title doesn’t represent the show: “The ratings suck (2.0 in the [18-49] demo for last two weeks) and show will go away if they don’t get better next year,” he tweeted. “Part 2: research shows a large number of people who won’t/haven’t tried show out because of… The title.”
Okay, if cancellation is really on the table, I’ll give in to the name change. (I’d been resisting it because, frankly, I enjoy having stupid reasons to dislike people and “So you won’t watch Cougar Town because of the name even though I’m telling you it’s hilarious and they drink more often than we do?” qualifies.) If ABC goes along with this, what should the new title be? Lawrence has tweeted that he’d “prefer a nice boring title to a cheesy off-putting one. e.g. Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Rec, etc…” He’s already deemed C-Town and Family Jules too racy. And he now sees the show as being about “adult friendships and drinking” – which could be why he seems most responsive to the Twitter suggestion Friends with Beverages. Also, keep in mind that he promises to continue the mocking title cards even if the name changes. What’s your best suggestion? Last year, Annie Barrett suggested Wining and Whining. We both just thought of Pounding Grapes. If Lawrence wants nice and boring, I may have it: Drinking Buddies.