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'Cougar Town': Courteney Cox and Josh Hopkins talk tonight's Cox-directed episode

Courteney Cox set down Big Carl long enough to step behind the camera as director of tonight’s episode of Cougar Town. She and costar Josh Hopkins spoke with EW about her directing role and shared a few season 3 spoilers.

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'Cougar Town' actor books a new comedy

Cougar Town fans, this may not be news you want to read: Dan Byrd (Travis Cobb) just booked another gig.

Byrd has joined Louis C.K’s untitled pilot at CBS, which is a multi-camera comedy about a “group of young people trying to achieve their creative dreams in these tough financial times.” It also stars Ashley Tisdale and is from Spike Feresten, Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun.

He’s the second Town vet to land a new job in the event ABC fails to renew the sitcom. Previously, Josh Hopkins (Grayson Ellis) signed on to the NBC comedy Lady Friends, a comedy from Kari Lizer that looks at what happens between two lifelong female friends when a husband comes into the mix. These are second position roles: If ABC shows mercy and gives Cougar Town another season, then CBS and NBC will have to find themselves some other funny men, thank you for very much.

Sadly, Cougar Town sunk to a series low last week, earning a mere 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 and luring only 4.3 million.

For more:

TV pilots mega list 2012
Death Watch 2012: Bubble Show Edition
Cougar Town: Life’s tough! Get a helmet

'Cougar Town' returns to all-time ratings low

Well … you can’t say Cougar Town‘s cast and producers didn’t try.

The third season of ABC’s comedy returned significantly lower in the ratings. In its new (and much tougher) time period, Cougar Town delivered 4.8 million viewers and a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating Tuesday night. This is a series low for the show (The CW’s Ringer also had some particularly bad news, below).

It’s arguably unfair to compare Cougar Town to its own 3.4 premiere last year (from which it’s down 47 percent). The show debuted in the fall on Wednesday nights with a lead-in from top-rated Modern Family. Whereas last night’s time slot in a few short months has been haunted by the short-lived Man Up (which premiered to a 2.4 rating) and Work It (2.0). Cougar Town‘s 1.8 rating is about average for this slot, but that’s not great considering the two shows that mainly generated that number were cancelled. It’s lead-in, Last Man Standing, had 7.6 million viewers and a 2.0 rating. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' creator predicts 'will not premiere as high as people hope' BUT...

The Cougar Town cast has pounded grapes, traveled the country, and, from a promotional point of view, pretty much killed themselves getting word out about the return of their show tonight for an exciting third season after a lengthy absence. (EW readers likely have heard the news.)

But the result of their efforts — and, in turn, the true power of guerrilla, self-funded promotion — won’t be known until tomorrow morning, when overnight ratings are released. Though, even then, creator Bill Lawrence, who largely funded the massive campaign pegged to the show’s return,  says he’s trying to stay realistic about the possible ratings outcome for a show premiering on Valentine’s Day. “Here’s what I really think will happen: I think the show will not premiere as high as people hope,” he admits. “And what I hope will happen is what always happened on Scrubs when they brought it back. The first week, the numbers are always lower than their predecessor….But what would happen then, as people became educated that the show was back on, each week it would be higher. The next week, the gap would be closed.”

Should his prediction come true, he’s prepared himself for the reaction — the Internet will try to stick a toe tag on Cougar Town. “We’re such an immediate culture that you immediately read on blogs is, ‘It’s dead!’ I read that about Scrubs for four years in a row,” he says. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' cast pounds grape at NYC Paley Center event

Okay, so the Cougar Town cast and creators weren’t pounding grape quite like the cul-de-sac crew does, but they came with red wine in hand to last night’s Paley Center panel. The event was just the latest of a series of viewing parties that the cast and co-creators and executive producers Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel organized as part of a grassroots campaign. With the ABC comedy stuck in TV schedule limbo, they decided that sitting around and doing nothing was not an option. “For Bill and for me it was kind of a no brainer,” Biegel said. “Why would you not do this? I want people to see it. So if that means going out there to show it to people, I’m going to go out there and show it to people.”

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'Cougar Town': Season 3 highlights! -- VIDEO

In preparation for Cougar Town’s Feb. 14 return date, Creator Bill Lawrence put together a nifty highlight reel — spoilers and all — for the new season. Among them: Some hottie refers to his body as “the truth” while another uses the name “Prince Charles” to indicate a fierce desire to hurl.

Valentine’s Day can’t get here soon enough. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' scoop: David Arquette to guest. Plus, more season 3 intel from Courteney Cox and Bill Lawrence!

They’ve been separated for about a year and a half , but Courteney Cox and David Arquette are proving once again they have no hard feelings.

EW confirms a report that Arquette is set to guest-star on Cougar Town‘s season 3 finale as a concierge who crosses paths with Jules (Cox) and [spoiler alert] READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' gets return date

Here’s a Valentine’s Day present for Cougar Town fans. The comedy is returning to ABC on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 8:30 p.m.

You had to figure with the cancellation of Work It (which was sneakily axed late Friday night) that this was coming, right? That’s why ABC seemingly ignored Cougar Town during its midseason dates announcement — you can’t declare a return date for a series that you suspect is going to take the place of another show that has a high likelihood of not working.

And yet, ABC also demonstrated a sort of accidental brilliance by leaving Cougar Town off its schedule and recent Pasadena press-tour lineup. The decisions seemed to slight the show, yet it galvanized fans and rallied creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel to promote the comedy as an underdog, resulting in more press attention and buzz than if the show been on the schedule all along.

So here’s the new question. Cougar Town used to enjoy the huge Modern Family lead-in on Wednesdays. Now, moving to Tuesdays, its lead-in will be Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, which has gone through two companions in the last few months (Man Up, Work It). Will Last Man Standing and Cougar Town get along?

Read more:
‘Cougar Town’ creators to ABC: We’ll promote it ourselves!
Playing the waiting game, by Bill Lawrence
Find the Cougar Town cast… on all your other favorite shows!

'Cougar Town' creators to ABC: We'll promote it ourselves!

Most ABC shows don’t have to launch and finance their own full-scale publicity tour, but then most shows aren’t like Cougar Town — the adults-only confection that has yet to earn a spot on the network’s midseason lineup.

Rather than sit around and wait for ABC to talk up the comedy, creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel have decided to shoulder the responsibility themselves. They’ve begun hosting nationwide screenings in hopes that fans will do what the network can’t — encourage more people to watch one of the most endearing (though ratings-challenged) shows on TV. READ FULL STORY

'The Vampire Diaries,' 'Justified,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'White Collar': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Welcome back, friends! Hope the holidays were as fattening for you as they were for me.

As winter hiatus comes to a close, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. (Although, I hope you still enjoyed the special Once Upon a Time edition of Spoiler Room that was served up last week!) And this week, there’s a little bit of something for everyone, I hope. If not, there’s a simple way to solve that: Hit me up! E-mail SpoilerRoom@ew.com or Tweet me @EWSandraG. And if you don’t see your question, keep trying! (I do read them all!)

Enjoy, and it’s truly lovely to be back in the swing of things! (Side note: Anyone else sort of love what’s going on in this week’s Spoiler Room blend? Now that’s a trio!)

‘THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’: STEFAN CHANNELS… JACK BAUER AND CHUCK NORRIS?
The year 2011 hasn’t been the easiest for Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Co., on The Vampire Diaries, and, as Julie Plec told Mandi Bierly, the first new episode of the season doesn’t do much to indicate changing winds in 2012. READ FULL STORY

'Cougar Town' cut down: ABC wants fewer episodes

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.  READ FULL STORY

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'House': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Welcome to Spoiler Room: Jen’s Edition. Kidding. But also not really. After wrapping up today’s column, I realized I chose four questions from people named Jen. I promise you, this is not an act of favoritism. But now I’m really curious how many of you are out there.

Regardless, if you ask, I’ll answer. So get askin’! Send your questions, ponderings, new show scoop requests, and post-premiere reactions to spoilerroom@ew.com. And if many of your names happen to be Jen, fantastic. (Your move, Sarahs.)

‘GREY’S ANATOMY’: FINALLY SOME MER/DER FOR YOU

I can’t tell you how often I get harassed lovingly asked for Meredith and Derek scoop, and after sitting through next week’s two-hour premiere with my mouth hanging open for 80 minutes (two hours, minus commercials), here’s what you’re going to get out of me on Mer/Der, Crowen, and Alex (who is sans nickname because he’s all alone. Poor Alex). READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men,' 'Modern Family,' John Noble, and Christina Hendricks among Critics' Choice Award winners

The Critics’ Choice Television Awards — created by the recently established Broadcast Television Critics Association — were designed in part to be a counterpoint to the annual Emmy Awards (and the more established TCA Awards). The winners of the first annual CCTAs, however, echoed several Emmy winners of the recent past: AMC’s Mad Men took home Best Drama; ABC’s Modern Family won Best Comedy; Best Actress in a Comedy went to 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey; and The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons earned Best Actor in a Comedy.

The majority of winners, however, have not snagged an Emmy award — or, in some cases, even a nomination — but remain long-standing fan favorites.  READ FULL STORY

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