First episode date
23 September 2009
Country of origin
No. of seasons
Final episode date
31 March 2015
Bill LawrenceKevin Biegel
Courteney CoxChrista MillerBusy PhilippsDan ByrdJosh HopkinsIan GomezBrian Van Holt
American Broadcasting Company, TBS
Scrubs (TV series), Happy Endings (TV series), Friends
cougar town trailer
Cougar Town was an American television Sitcom that ran for 102 episodes over six seasons, from September 23, 2009 until March 31, 2015. The first three seasons aired on ABC, with the series moving to TBS for the final three seasons. Set in the fictional town of Gulfhaven, Florida, nicknamed "cougar Town" since its high school teams are the Cougars, the series focuses on a recently divorced woman in her 40s facing the often humorous challenges, pitfalls, and rewards of life's next chapter, along with her teenage son, her ex-husband, and her wine-loving friends who together make up her dysfunctional, but supportive and caring, extended family. The pilot episode was broadcast after Modern Family. ABC officially gave the series a full season pickup on October 8, 2009.
- cougar town trailer
- Community s danny pudi abed on cougar town 2 21 21
- Cast and characters
- Main cast
- Recurring cast
- Running gags
- Opening sequence
- Episode format
- Potential name change
- Network change
- Critical reception
The show was created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel and was produced by Doozer and Coquette Productions in association with ABC Studios. Filming took place at Culver Studios in Culver City, California. The pilot episode achieved 11.28 million viewers. Season 2 premiered on September 22, 2010, with 8.35 million viewers. Season 3, consisting of 15 episodes, was originally slated to premiere in November 2011 but, because of ABC's promotion of the ill-fated Man Up!, it premiered on February 14, 2012. Following the Season 3 finale, it was announced that TBS had purchased the rights to the series for an additional 15-episode season, to air in 2013, with options for additional seasons. On March 25, 2013, TBS renewed the series for a fifth season of 13 episodes, which premiered on January 7, 2014. On May 10, 2014, TBS renewed Cougar Town for a sixth and final season. Season six premiered on January 6, 2015, and the series concluded on March 31, 2015.
Community s danny pudi abed on cougar town 2 21 21
Cast and characters
The series features seven main cast members, with other characters recurring.
Guest stars on the show included three of Cox's former Friends co-stars: Jennifer Aniston in season two as Glenn, Jules' therapist, Lisa Kudrow in season one as a mean dermatologist, Matthew Perry in season 5 as the millionaire that proposes to Jules; and, the show's producer and Cox's then husband David Arquette. Danny Pudi made a brief appearance as his character Abed Nadir from Community, tying into a reference made on the other show about Abed appearing on Cougar Town.
Many of the show's guest stars were either regulars or had recurring roles on Bill Lawrence's previous two previous television series Spin City and Scrubs – Barry Bostwick, Bob Clendenin, Sarah Chalke, Sam Lloyd, Michael McDonald, Scott Foley, and Ken Jenkins – to name a few. The final scene of season 3's "A One Story Town" featured several regulars from Scrubs including an uncredited cameo by Zach Braff.
The first season premiere episode shows Jules while she examines her naked body in the mirror for signs of aging. Jules, now divorced from her husband Bobby, tries to re-enter the dating world and relate to her young assistant Laurie. Jules' best friend and neighbor Ellie tries to prevent her from going out while her son is constantly being embarrassed by both of his parents. The show was originally about older women ("cougars") dating younger men, as Jules begins dating Josh (Nick Zano) and Barb is often seen "hunting". Jules' relationship with Josh ends when he tells her that he loves her and Jules does not feel the same way. Later Jules begins a relationship with Jeff (Scott Foley) a client who infuriates Jules with his indecision. Her relationship with Jeff ends when the relationship becomes too serious for Jules who is not looking for anything too serious so soon after her divorce, whereas Jeff is ready to settle down as he has been "playing the field" for a long time. After her relationship with Jeff ends, Jules falls into bed with her ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt). This causes Bobby's feelings for Jules to stir even more and he later tells her that he wants her back. Jules, however, tells him that she loves him but "not that way any more" and that their happy ending is them as friends, raising their son Travis (Dan Byrd) together. Toward the end of the season, the simmering feelings between Jules and neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins) boil to the surface, and the two begin a relationship.
The second season follows the development of Jules and Grayson's relationship. In "The Damage You've Done", Grayson and Laurie decide to tell Jules that they had slept together in season 1, leaving Jules angry at Laurie, who had known that she was attracted to Grayson. However, her anger at Laurie dissipates when Laurie's boyfriend Smith breaks up with her, having realized that he didn't feel the same way about her as she did about him. Later in the season, Laurie rediscovers her love of partying and one-night stands. After Bobby helps Stan get into a great preschool, Andy and Ellie reverse their previous decision to revoke his title as Stan's emergency legal guardian in the event of Jules, Andy, and Ellie's deaths. Travis begins college, making friends with his roommate Kevin and starting to date a slightly older girl named Kirsten. When Kirsten gets a job in Chicago, he proposes to her in an attempt to get her to stay, which she rejects. Travis falls into a depressive funk, stops going to college, and moves into Bobby's boat (while Bobby moves into an apartment). Finally, he impulsively moves to Hawaii and gets a job cleaning surfboards, forcing everyone else to follow him. At the same time, Grayson brings up the idea of having kids with Jules, who tells him she can't even consider it because of her stress over what her only child is doing with his life. However, when Laurie convinces Travis to not let romantic feelings influence his life and to come back to Florida, her joy causes Jules to reconsider, and she tells Grayson, "I will go on any adventure with you."
The third season begins with Grayson proposing to Jules in the season premier. With the help of the Cul-de-sac Crew, Grayson tricks Jules into being less predictable in her day-to-day life, but when she fails, Grayson is able to plan ahead and propose to her outside at night under a teepee'd tree. The season follows the ups and downs of their engagement, including their many trips to a new psychiatrist (played by guest star Nicole Sullivan). Laurie guilts Jules into letting her be Co-Maid of Honor (Co-Mo's!) with Ellie, much to Ellie's dismay. Travis gets into a skateboarding accident while being pulled by Dog Travis, and goes into the hospital. His injury causes him to wear a helmet for six episodes. Laurie falls for a guy via Twitter, a soldier from Iraq named Wade. Meanwhile, Bobby falls for Travis photography professor Angie (recurring guest star Sarah Chalke). In "A One Story Town", Jules and the gang decide Bobby needs help with Angie so they start "operation kiss-the-girl". With help from Ted and his a'capella group, they pull it off and Bobby and Angie get together. (This episode also signifies a special Scrubs cast reunion including: Christa Miller, Sarah Chalke, Bob Clendenin, Ken Jenkins, Sam Lloyd, Robert Maschio, and Zach Braff). One of Grayson's old hookups, Holly, returns with news that Grayson is the father of her baby. Although Jules is extremely upset at first, she comes to terms with the fact that baby girl Tampa will be in Grayson's life from now on. Bobby soon finds out that Angie is cheating on him, although she says they never agreed to be exclusive, and they break up. Ellie's mom is introduced, and no one will believ Ellie when she tries to tell the crew that her mother is a sociopath. When a hurricane strikes Gulfhaven, Travis and Laurie get closer than ever when Laurie can't decide what to do about her army boyfriend Wade. Although he has feelings for her, Travis wants to see Laurie happy, so he tells her to try to make it work with Wade. The hurricane destroys Grayson's house, causing him to move in with Jules. Grayson wants his and Jules's relationship to be more private and suggests that they elope to Napa, but Jules invites the whole group. While there, Travis and Laurie almost kiss but are interrupted when her boyfriend Wade comes back from Iraq to see her. The night of Travis's 21st birthday he gets drunk, strips, and tells Laurie that he has feelings for her and she is being unfair to him. Because Grayson's daughter isn't with them, Jules and Grayson decide not to elope, instead getting married on the beach near their home, but because beach weddings aren't legal there, it becomes a wedding on the go, and they walk down the beach as they say their vows.
The fourth season focuses mostly on Jules and Grayson adjusting to married life, and the will they/won't they relationship between Laurie and Travis. Beginning a week after their wedding, the season shows Jules and Grayson going through a lot of changes now that they are newlyweds. Grayson learns never to lie to Jules and quickly becomes her "wine guy" and her "coffee bitch." They try to keep things fresh by starting fights and having a naked day. Travis is having trouble dealing with his feelings for Laurie, and begins dating around and sleeping with girls in college in an attempt to repress his feelings. Tom officially becomes part of the group, but the gang continues to play tricks on him throughout the season. In a flashback episode, "Flirting With Time," we learn how the group came to be, when Jules and Bobby moved to the Cul-de-sac nine years earlier. Bobby becomes friends with a tomboyish girl named Riggs, and after a makeover she becomes beautiful and he realizes that he has feelings for her. The two begin dating and continue dating for the rest of the season. Laurie's army boyfriend Wade returns from Afghanistan for good and wants to make their relationship work. They eventually decide to move in together, but Wade leaves when he realizes that Laurie has feelings for Travis. Jules' father Chick returns to visit the gang, and it turns out that he has developed some memory problems. Later, in the season finale, Jules and Grayson take Chick to the doctor, where he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In an attempt to cheer him up, the gang takes him on a trip to Hollywood to meet his favorite celebrity, Tippi Hedren. Travis and Laurie admit their feelings for one another, and after a series of awkward moments and "almosts" they share their first kiss in Hollywood. Jules's favorite wine glass, Big Lou, is shattered in the finale when Grayson knocks him over while dancing. Ellie and Grayson give her a new wine glass as a gift and name it Big Tippi.
The fifth season frequently focuses on the growing relationship between Laurie and Travis. As their relationship becomes more physical, Jules has difficulty. She later sees their relationship as being stronger than the one she shares with Grayson, before Grayson convinces her of the advantages of the "mature" relationship that they have. Grayson and Bobby both struggle with aging as they reach their mid 40's. Chick's Alzheimers'disease worsens, and he has to move closer to Jules. Andy faces some challenges to his reputation as mayor of Gulf Haven and deals with a new boss at his day job. Laurie and Ellie pretend to be a lesbian couple to get preferential treatment in getting Stan into an exclusive school. Travis graduates art school but struggles to find employment, ultimately working at a coffee shop. Jules breaks "Big Tippi" and replaces it with "Big Chuck". Tom reveals he has built a scale model of the cul-de-sac in his garage, complete with figurines of the entire gang, which he uses to recap events or play out his fantasies, which often end with Grayson dying or getting kicked out. In the finale, Laurie and Travis face a breakup after arguing about their future, before Travis confides that the only future that matters to him is one with Laurie in it. Jules then breaks the news that Laurie is pregnant, which she discovered after "borrowing" Laurie's urine for a physical exam.
In the sixth and final season, major changes threaten upheaval in the gang's lives, but they manage to work through them. Bobby finally becomes gainfully employed and moves out of the boat, but to Andy's dismay, the job is in Georgia. Laurie gives birth to "Baby Bobby", and she and Travis begin their lives as parents. Travis starts a business. Andy loses his job and his mayorship, and becomes a stay-at-home dad, while Ellie returns to work as a corporate lawyer. Tom finds love. Jules breaks Big Chuck in the series finale — this time on purpose.
The gang's love of red wine, particularly by Jules, is a leading theme of the show. Each season Jules has had, in succession, a series of increasingly larger drinking vessels. Firstly, she used the oversized glass "Big Joe", followed by the 44-ounce "Big Carl" (actually part of a lamp), "Big Lou" (actually a vase), "Big Tippi" (a stolen vase from the crew's Hollywood trip in Season 4) and "Big Chuck" (introduced in Season 5). During their Hawaiian holiday, she drank from "Big Kimo" (actually a candle holder from the hotel room). At one point, the group forces Laurie to drink from a miniature glass called "Little Richard" as punishment.
Another running gag is the group's love of making up social rules for each other, such as having a "Council" that creates unusual punishments for the members who commit a social infraction. The gang often plays 'Penny Can', a simple yet popular game made up by Bobby that involves throwing pennies into an empty paint can. The gang also frequently changes the meaning of words – such as "cake walk" - to mean something different, as it is difficult to walk while carrying a cake. These changes to linguistic rules are predicated upon Ellie shouting "Change approved!".
Since the second season, every episode had a running gag in the opening credits sequence — often making fun of the show's name because it was no longer about man-hungry cougars.
Cougar Town was created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel. Following the cancellation of Dirt, Courteney Cox wanted to return to television and do another comedy. Lawrence, who is best known as the creator of Scrubs and Spin City, was approached by Cox about "wanting to do something". While developing the concept of the show, Lawrence thought he would do a tryout with Cox on Scrubs, by guest starring in the first three episodes of the eighth season. Lawrence and Biegel, who worked together writing episodes on Scrubs, came up with the concept of the show with Cox as a 40-year-old newly single woman because he thought that it was a real "zeitgeist-y topic". He drew inspiration from his real-life wife, actress Christa Miller who also stars in the show as Ellie; Miller had previously worked with Cox as part of the story-arc of the three part Scrubs tryout. Lawrence told Cox that the show could be "high risk, high reward", although Cox decided to go for it. He added, "I rarely have this much trepidation because usually the only person I could let down is myself. I want to make it work for her."
Before he pitched the idea to ABC, other titles for the show included 40 and Single and The Courteney Cox Show, which was eventually named Cougar Town because Lawrence thought that "the title is noisy and that people will be aware of this show". He felt that the risk of the title was that the audience wouldn't watch it because people would say "the title bums me", commenting: "it's a risky roll of the dice ... We don't call women 'cougars' in it. We certainly don't use the word beyond the unbelievably big cheat that the high school mascot is a cougar." Lawrence believed that with the subsequent scripts they'd be doing and the reshoots in the pilot, the show would be "creatively satisfying". After he pitched the idea to ABC, they asked him to have a pilot ready to shoot by the end of January 2009. Lawrence and Biegel together wrote the script with Lawrence, who has written and directed many episodes on Scrubs, directing the episode. In casting beyond Cox, Lawrence created the character of Ellie for his wife, Christa Miller. Miller felt that her character started off "gleefully" and reported that Lawrence would write down little things that she would say.
The series takes place in the fictional town of Gulf Haven in Sarasota County, Florida. Filming took place on the Miami Street back lot located at the Culver Studios in Culver City, California. The Cul-de-sac used for filming is also located in Culver City on Lamarr Avenue. Lawrence served as executive producer/writer/director, Kevin Biegel as writer/co-executive producer, and Courteney Cox and David Arquette as executive producers. Cougar Town was produced by Doozer Productions and Coquette Productions and was aired weekly on ABC, before moving to TBS for its fourth season. The sitcom was filmed in the single-camera format.
The original theme is written by WAZ and original music for Cougar Town is composed by WAZ, Jamie Jackson, Will Golden and Al Sgro. Bill Lawrence stated; "As a show composer WAZ brings something incredibly special. He has the ability to make score music sound current, like it was just lifted off the radio, and yet, it still services the show perfectly ... As a group we're confident that WAZ will be the next singer/songwriter that we try to claim credit for. He's that good." Songs such as Phoenix's "Lisztomania", Foghat's "Slow Ride", and La Roux's "Bulletproof (Remix)" were all used in the pilot episode. In the second episode, Beyoncé Knowles's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and Keren DeBerg's "Today" as well as "Tell Me" were used on the show. A full version of the theme song was released in February 2012 to coincide with the shows return.
Cougar Town's opening sequence features a map of Florida showing Sarasota County, Florida. In the Season 1 episodes, the title sequence zooms in from the outline of Florida to show Sarasota with a "Welcome to Cougar Town" sign. The producers wanted something different for the setting of the show and decided to include a map of the show's setting in the sequence, commenting: "Everyone's in New York or Los Angeles. I think there's a lot of fun to be had in that area and with those characters." Jeanne Corcoran, the director of the Sarasota County Film commission, spoke to the show's production assistants to be able to use the locality as the setting as well as including it on the opening sequence. For the second season, each episode (excluding the second episode) replaced the 'Welcome to' subtitle to a reference regarding the "bad" title of the show (e.g., "(Badly Titled) Cougar Town", "It's Okay to Watch a Show Called Cougar Town").
All but two of the episodes have been named after songs by Tom Petty, who is from Florida. In one episode, Jules describes Josh as among the top 10–15 people she has met, which includes "Tom Petty and Colonel Sanders".
Potential name change
In May 2010, it was reported that the show's producers were considering a name change because the plot had strayed so far from its initial premise. Stephen McPherson, who headed ABC Entertainment, was said to be "on board" with a name change should the producers decide to go ahead. Research also showed that many viewers who ignored the show based on its name actually enjoyed it after seeing a screening of an episode. However, the name change was scrapped, and the show retained the title Cougar Town for its second season. Bill Lawrence later stated that two potential titles that they wanted to change to were declined by ABC – Sunshine State (declined because ABC also had a Matthew Perry sitcom on their mid-season schedule that season known as Mr. Sunshine) and Grown Ups (declined because of the then-recent film with the same name).
On May 27, 2011, Bill Lawrence announced through his Twitter account that the name of the show would change for season 3 with input from the fans, but did not give any further details. In June 2011, Courteney Cox hinted that one of the frontrunners for the new title is Friends with Beverages, but stated that "there are still other titles on the board". Lawrence tweeted on September 9, 2011, that "Those that loved title 'Cougar Town' ... Not around for much longer", hinting that the title would be changed. Ultimately, the show retained the original title for the third season, with the first opening sequence subtitle stating that "[they're] not happy about it".
On February 14, 2012, Cox and Lawrence revealed in an interview that a title change could still take place for the fourth season, mentioning Wine Time, The Sunshine State and Family Jules as potential titles. However, after announcing that the show would move to TBS for the fourth season, Lawrence said if TBS wants that title to change, then it will, but also said that he doubts it will happen.
On August 28, 2012, the show announced its new season on its new Facebook page for the now TBS show, with a picture that stated, "Turns out even a new network couldn't change the title." However, even TBS has poked fun in their promos for the new season, referring to Cougar Town as a "crappy title".
In the final episode, the title sequence called the show Sunshine State.
On May 10, 2012, TBS announced that Cougar Town would join its lineup in the beginning of 2013 for 15 episodes, after ABC canceled the series. Moving to TBS gave the show the possibility of receiving more episodes and publicity than had the show remained on ABC.
In the US the audience dropped from 11 million to 6 million over the 24-episode run. In Australia the audience dropped from 1.3 to 1 million in one week after the chief executive of the Australian channel showing it (Seven Network) described it as a "shit show" that he could get large audiences for by promoting it. In the United Kingdom, the first season aired on LIVING, and was shown in double-bills on Tuesday nights at 9pm. The season premiered on March 30, 2010 to a strong 802,000 viewers and concluded on June 15, 2010 to a series low of 593,000 viewers. However, the entire season was the most-watched show on LIVING, averaging 769,000 viewers.
Cougar Town premiered on September 23, 2009 in the Wednesday 9:30 pm timeslot. The pilot episode aired between the other two pilots, Modern Family and Eastwick. The series premiered with 11.4 million viewers, coming first in its timeslot. The second episode scored 9.14 million viewers, although it dropped 2.14 viewers from the pilot, as well as other shows that night such as Modern Family and Eastwick.
In Canada the show aired on City. The fifth season began on the network on February 26, 2014. The sixth season premiered on February 19, 2015.
In the United Kingdom, after being dropped by Sky Living, the show is now streamed by Blinkbox (from Tesco).
Cougar Town opened to a mixed reviews from critics. Metacritic gave the series 49 out of 100 based on the pilot episode, from the 21 reviews it collected, and a user score of 4.5 out of 10 based on 46 votes. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot episode a B, commenting that the show mixes "clinical realism (when did you last hear a C-section scar used as a punchline?) with ridiculous slang (a new boob job is referred to as gorilla heads), Cougar Town is so brashly vulgar, it's endearing". Tucker also wrote that "the entire show is about getting and having sex... Cougar is so single-minded that this obsession itself becomes funny". Variety stated that the show "does feed into the dual sense of insecurity and self-empowerment that women harbor about getting older ... though, the execution here is consistently about as subtle as a kick to the groin". Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara said that the "maddening thing about Cougar Town is that it isn't completely unfunny or uncharming". Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger feels that "Cougar Town is still finding itself, but it's already much better than the title would suggest [...] the show "has to walk a very careful line between making fun of the cougar concept and embracing it" although based on the two episodes "Cougar Town is self-aware enough to pull that off". USA Today was also favorable, saying that the show has "the right cast and good writing".
Many critics have speculated that the show will only have a narrow target audience: older women; with Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times stating that the show's "plot description alone could drive away male viewers" while the Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara opined that it "is fun and exciting for women over 40". Despite speculation, the show has done well with young males and young adults in all key demographics.
In contrast, a writer for feminist blog Jezebel disapproved stating, "It's clichéd, it's lame, it's undignified. It smacks of predatory desperation." Ryan Brockington of New York Post compared the show to Samantha Who?. The Daily News' David Hinckley opined that the show is "a waste of Cox's comic talents". In The Irish Times Kate Holmquist writes that "Cox is both a symbol and a red light warning for everything that is wrong with the Hollywood portrayal of middle-aged women, who are rarely wise or strong or naturally aged" and states that she is "the female version of the pervert in a dirty raincoat".
In contrast to the previous year, the second season received more positive reviews from critics. The second season currently holds an average score of 75 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on seven reviews, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'. Tim Stack from Entertainment Weekly regarded the season in a positive light, citing that "very few shows can get away with genuine moments of emotion while also incorporating the phrase 'dead-baby tacos'". Hitfix writer Alan Sepinwall also gave a positive review of the show, saying that "midway through the first season the writers realized their cast was so funny together that the wisest course was to just put everyone together as often as possible. This is still the show that Cougar Town became at mid-season last year."
The much-delayed third season of Cougar Town became the most critically acclaimed season of the series thus far, garnering an average Metacritic score of 80 out of 100, based on five reviews. RedEye gave the season a positive review, stating that it "returns with its wit, silliness and good-heartedness fully intact." TV Guide concluded: "witty and wacky, this sharp-tongued, sweet-souled sitcom picks up without losing a (heart)beat." The Huffington Post summed up their review by noting that fans of the show will "find a lot to like about the new season."