The Cougar Town team kicked off the winter Television Critics Association press tour by serving mimosas to a ballroom of bleary-eyed critics. Sure it’s only 9 a.m., but this is the alkie-friendly Cougar Town on stage so let the party begin.
Here’s six notable quotables from the panel, with the Cougar Town team pledging Courteney Cox cleavage, some barechested Josh Hopkins and a “naked day” episode.
— Co-creator Bill Lawrence expressed more appreciation for TBS rescuing the show for a fourth season, along with some playful knocks on his former network ABC. “I don’t know if you’ve seen them but there’s commercials for this show now, it’s insane,” he says. “Go to New York and you’ll see the [ABC] Don’t Trust the B— posters they’re right next to ours.”
— Lawrence and the cast repeatedly emphasized that fans shouldn’t notice any difference in the show compared to previous seasons. “I want them to notice no difference,” Lawrence says. EXCEPT… “One difference is Courteney did declare this year the year of her cleavage,” he says. Adds Cox: “You will not see one scene where I don’t show my boobs.” Lawrence also joked, “the big difference is we’ve shifted from Brian Van Holt not wearing his shirt all the time to Josh Hopkins not wearing his shirt all the time. I think that was probably TBS’ only big note.”
— TBS wasn’t interested in changing the show’s much-debated name. The network’s head of programming Michael Wright said: “Cougar Town had become part of the humor… why change something that we all appreciate that’s part of the show’s humor … why [move away] from all the marketing that had already been done [in support of the show].” Lawrence says he’s embraced the title at this point.
— One upcoming storyline will feature Jules Cobb (Cox) having a “naked day” to liven up her marriage to Grayson Ellis (Hopkins). “One day in trying to keep our marriage alive we have a naked day,” Cox says. “There happens to be only one spot in the whole house where I can stand and the light comes in at all angles; step out of it, disgusting.” Lawrence says the idea was from a writer on staff who tried such a themed day with his wife. “It was sexy for about five minutes and then it was just two middle aged people standing around naked,” Lawrence says.
— Expect the show to also keep a focus on a possible romance between Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Travis (Dan Byrd). “We build toward something by the end of the year,” Lawrence teases. Meanwhile Laurie’s boyfriend returns from Afghanistan, “So no I longer have to have cybersex … I get to actually make out with him in real life,” Philipps says.
— Lawrence says he wasn’t worried about having Jules get married despite the TV curse of shows declining in the ratings once a potential lead couple pairs up. “I don’t believe in TV curses — Cut to: ‘Cancelled? [After] one episode?'” Critics laugh. “I think it’s just as big of a burden to do will-they-or-won’t-they when so many people have done it so well … once we decided the show is about adult friendship … it felt like the organic thing to do.”