Matt Kennedy/ABC
James Hibberd
November 18, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EST

Cougar Town might not get a happy ending.

Earlier today ABC announced its midseason premiere dates with the Courteney Cox series notably absent from the list. Now comes word that the comedy’s episode order has been reduced from 22 to 15 half hours this season. 

ABC has been fortunate enough to have launched a couple successful new comedies in the fall, with Suburgatory doing really well and Last Man Standing performing okay. The bigger surprise has been last season’s midseason effort Happy Endings, which grew into a solid partner for Modern Family — in Cougar Town‘s 9:30 p.m. slot.

Insiders say the reduction is all about managing their inventory needs, and not a slight against the show, and it’s true enough that if Cougar Town performs strong for its 15 episode order when it finally does return sometime this season, ABC wouldn’t be shy about ordering more. So, a bummer for fans, but not a death sentence.

Read more:

ABC midseason plans revealed: ‘The River,’ ‘GCB,’ ‘Shark Tank’ … but some shows are missing

Find the ‘Cougar Town’ cast… on all your other favorite shows!

EWwy winner Courteney Cox would like to kiss EW’s…ewe

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