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'Cougar Town': Brian Van Holt on directing tonight's mini 'Friends' reunion

Tuesday night’s episode of Cougar Town marks the first time actor Brian Van Holt stepped behind the camera to direct an episode of the comedy, accomplishing a goal he’d had since he started working on the series five seasons ago. And while he was thrilled to finally get the chance, the opportunity also came with a little added pressure — it was an episode that was set to guest star Courteney Cox’s former Friends castmate Matthew Perry.

“There was a lot involved and a lot of expectations,” Van Holt tells EW, “but that being said, it was amazing. I loved it.”

In the episode, airing at 10 p.m. ET, Perry guest stars as a man who has a fender bender with Cox’s Jules, and mayhem ensues when Jules takes a small fib a little too far. The episode finds a way to recapture the old chemistry between the two former co-stars, while also adding a little twist on the story. “I was so lucky to have Matthew in my episode because he made me look better. He brought so much to the table,” Van Holt said. “It was really an honor to direct Matthew Perry and Courteney.”

In fact, Van Holt says, as a Friends fan himself, it was somewhat “surreal at times” to see the two actors reunited. “I had my moments of, ‘Wow, This is Monica and Chandler at it again!’ They had such good chemistry,” he said. “I did get caught watching the monitors and forgetting to call cut because I could really let the camera roll on them forever. It was very special….It’s a big moment for two TV icons to come back together.” <

Cougar Town airs Tuesdays on TBS.

'Cougar Town' preview: Five scoops on the new season

Five seasons into Cougar Town, creator Bill Lawrence knows not to mess with something that works. And Cougar Town — in all of its wine-soaked, zany, fun glory — works.

That’s why you won’t see a fifth season, which premieres tonight on TBS, full of curve balls or too many guest stars (save one, which we’ll get to). “In the past, when I’ve had shows that go on for a long time — like the 6 or 7th year of Scrubs– I’ve thrown curveballs into it that ultimately weren’t satisfying,” says Lawrence, who handed over daily duties to new showrunner Blake McCormick this season. “And one of the things we like is that this is a hang-out show and quite honestly there hasn’t been a ton of episodes yet. So we’re in a place where we’re still happy to kind of just hang out with these busy, open a bottle of wine and hopefully drink along with them.”

That said, this season of Cougar Town is packed with fun, which Lawrence and star Courteney Cox detailed for EW. Here are the highlights: READ FULL STORY

Matthew Perry to reunite with Courteney Cox on 'Cougar Town'

Did someone call for Mr. and Mrs. Bing? TBS just announced that former Friends stars Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox will be reuniting this winter when Perry guest-stars on Cougar Town.

Details about Perry’s role will be announced soon, but if he wants to fit in with the gang, we’re willing to bet he’s going to drink a little wine and make some inappropriate jokes. At least, that’s what we hope happens.

Cougar Town‘s fifth season premieres Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 10 p.m. on TBS.

'Cougar Town' season 5 gets a premiere date: Watch the first promo! -- EXCLUSIVE

Get ready to welcome back the Cul-de-Sac Crew: EW has learned exclusively that Cougar Town‘s upcoming fifth season finally has a premiere date!

So when should we uncork the wine? That would be Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. ET on TBS. Actually, you can probably uncork that wine now to celebrate. The gang would approve, as you’ll see in the exclusive promo below:
READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' sneak peek: Sparks fly for Bobby on the dodgeball court -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Love is blooming on the dodgeball court in tomorrow’s episode of Cougar Town!

Bobby starts to spend a lot of time with his new tomboy friend, Riggs (guest star Maria Thayer), but it’s not until the two find themselves in a heated game of dodgeball that things really begin to heat up.

How hot does it get? For that, I direct you to the exclusive clip below, in which Riggs puts her neck on the line to save Bobby. What a gal! Watch:

READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Busy Philipps talks pregnancy, 'Freaks and Geeks', and the future of 'Cougar Town'

Image Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC

Image Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC

From Freaks and Geeks’ Kim Kelly to Cougar Town’s Laurie Keller, Busy Philipps has made a career out of playing lovable loudmouths. Off screen, the actress possesses the gift of gab as well, which is why we invited one of our small screen faves to call in to this week’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast! And call in she did. In a freewheeling discussion, Busy tells us all about her “disheartening” frustration with the lack of support from Cougar Town’s previous network, ABC, as well as some big changes for Laurie this season on the comedy’s new home of TBS. She also reminisces about her formative days on Freaks and Geeks, while also discussing being pregnant for the second time —and the bigger boobs that come with it!

Busy then provides some behind-the-scenes intel on how the Cougar Town set is unique when it comes to balancing work and parenting. Not only that, but the actress plays a few rounds of Jessica Shaw’s latest game — 7 Degrees of Busy Philipps! To hear our candid and colorful chat with the star, click on the audio player icon below.

But that’s not all. Jessica and I also size up the new American Idol judges panel. Is Nicki Minaj too over the top? Does Mariah Carey have anything of interest to say? And is Randy Jackson the only one willing to actually critique anyone? We give our first impressions of the first episodes and name some early favorite contestants as well. (The American Idol discussion begins at 24:00.) READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Is Mariah Carey the most boring 'American Idol' judge...ever?

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

Other than a possibly manufactured feud with Nicki Minaj that she appears to want no part of, has Mariah Carey added anything to the American Idol judging panel? Considering all the vocal expertise at her disposal, we hoped she’d have some legitimate constructive criticism to share with this year’s auditioning contestants. Instead, she merely smiles, says yes or no in as boring a manner as possible, and then goes back to praying that her fellow female judge does not light into her again. Mariah’s yawn-worthy entrance onto the American Idol stage is just one of the first impressions Jessica Shaw and I will be breaking down on this week’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast.

Also up for discussion on the new season of Idol: Is Randy the only judge actually willing to criticize? How are we feeling about the steady stream of inspirational sob stories being shoved down our throats? And does Keith Urban deserve better than being forced to play peacemaker between the two feuding divas? Also, who are our early favorites among the contestants? Click on the audio player icon to hear our thoughts and see if you agree. (The American Idol discussion beings at 24:00.)

But first, it’s time to get busy with one of our TV favorites — Busy Philipps! That’s right, the Cougar Town star calls in to talk about the comedy’s big move to TBS, her boobs getting a lot bigger (due to her pregnancy, natch), and what’s in store for her character coming up. She also shares some memories from her Freaks and Geeks days and plays a few kick-ass rounds of Jessica’s new game — 7 Degrees of Busy Philipps. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' on TBS draws ho-hum ratings

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Take a modest show on broadcast and put it on cable. How does it perform by cable standards? Kinda modest.

Despite promising lots of Courteney Cox cleavage, Cougar Town delivered 2.2 million viewers for its TBS premiere last night, with 1.3 million adults 18-49. That’s not bad (the network’s press release, which naturally grades on a curve, called them “solid”). But by comparison, last year’s Sullivan and Sons debuted to 2.5 million viewers and Men at Work debuted to 2.6 million viewers — and those titles didn’t have Cougar Town‘s broad awareness after running for three years on ABC, or a star like Cox to help promote the show.

Basically the numbers are within TBS’ ballpark, but you’d expect this particular title to deliver more viewers. Or maybe not, if you subscribe to the philosophy referenced above — that the popularity of a title remains consistent regardless of the size of its venue. That just because a show moves to an outlet with lower bar for success doesn’t mean it will continue delivering broadcast-level numbers and therefore become a cable hit.

'Cougar Town' team promise gobs of nudity in season 4

courtney-cox-bra

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. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' wine-spilling promo revealed for TBS debut -- EXCLUSIVE

cougar-town-promo

With Cougar Town set to make its debut on TBS in January, the network is rolling out a new wine-splashing promo featuring Courteney Cox and the cul-de-sac crew all clad in white. Or I should say, wine spilling, since the ad features the classic Eric Burdon and War track, “Spill the Wine.” The former ABC fan-favorite comedy will launch its fourth season on the cable channel on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. Here’s your “ultimate laundry nightmare”… READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' cast announces premiere date with musical tribute to survival -- VIDEO

The following is an important musical video message brought to you by the cast of Cougar Town. The gist of it? They’re back! More specifically, their premiere date is Jan. 8.

Little else can be said about the video below other than it’s further proof that this show deserved to get saved from cancellation, and TBS will be a fine home for it. (Also, why does nothing rhyme with Tuesday?)

Click below to be serenaded and totally ear-wormed. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' creator on season finale twists, the move to TBS

cougar-town

Had the news of Cougar Town‘s renewal and move to TBS not been released weeks ago, the season finale may have made a few fans worry. After all, the episode certainly had the tone of a series finale.

Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) got married. Ellie (Christa Miller) dangled her sexuality over Andy (Ian Gomez) like an unreachable carrot. And Laurie (Busy Phillips) and Travis (Dan) seemed to accept that they will always remain friends — and nothing more. But while the episode felt like a natural end to the series, co-creator Bill Lawrence says that was never the intention. “It’s the opposite,” he says. “We thought it was a season finale and when the show wasn’t doing great, we realized it could be the series finale if it had to be. And we were like thank goodness! But we never planned it that way.”

Instead, the episode is really a new beginning. Next fall, the start its run on TBS, a move that Lawrence calls “a very appealing situation. “[TBS] flew our entire cast out to Upfronts, and we were being treated like somebody’s flagship show rather than an afterthought,” he says. “It’s really cool. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

And while Lawrence, who has a development deal with Warner Bros., and Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel are handing over daily duties to Ric Swartzlander (Gary Unmarried), their relationship with the show will continue, he says. How exactly? That’s one of the subjects he tackled during a conversation with EW about the finale and what’s next: READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' hires new showrunner

Cougar Town not only has a new network, it has a new showrunner to match.

Ric Swartzlander (Gary Unmarried) has signed on as an executive producer and will oversee the cul-de-sac comedy in its fourth season — and first on TBS. The news comes on the heels of series co-creator/exec producer Bill Lawrence’s confirmation that he and co-creator Kevin Biegel were no longer planning to run the series, which aired for three seasons on ABC. Lawrence, who’s married to Cougar Town star Christa Miller, assured fans on Twitter last week that he and Biegel weren’t fully letting go of their Big Carls, quipping: “My wife is on the show — you think she’ll let me disappear? Please.” Lawrence will serve as an executive producer and executive consultant on Cougar Town while developing new projects for Warner Bros. TV, with whom he signed a deal last year. Biegel will act as consulting producer. Swartzlander’s other credits include Samantha Who? and 8 Simple Rules.

READ FULL STORY

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