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October 21, 2014

BillLawrence

'Cougar Town' Co-Creator Bill Lawrence Reacts to Bad News from ABC

by Alex Moaba, posted Nov 19th 2011 4:05PM
'Cougar Town' got dealt some bad news late on Friday afternoon, when it was left on the bench for the second half of ABC's fall schedule. Fans took to Twitter to vent against ABC's decision and wondered if this meant the beloved niche comedy was canceled. But before anyone could change their avatars in a 'Community'-style show of support, Deadline reported 'Cougar Town' would return in March, with its episode order cut from 22 to 15.

'Cougar Town' co-creator Bill Lawrence, who goes by VDOOZER on Twitter, joined fans in reacting to the unfortunate news. "Look, we will be back, and the show will be on for a long time (Parks and Rec style). Only people hurt by reduced order - crew and fans," he tweeted.

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'Cougar Town' - 'Wake Up Time' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 15th 2010 10:51AM
Courteney Cox and Dan Byrd in 'Cougar Town' - 'Wake Up Time'(S01E20) Because of the loose nature of the latest episodes of 'Cougar Town,' it's a show that's become very difficult to review.

I can scramble around, trying to write down every funny line that was uttered, which won't give me a chance to really take the show in like I should. But if I take the show in and just absorb it for the plots and characters, I'm finding that I sit in front of my computer to write and can't recall any particularly strong plotlines to talk about. They feel more like plot threads, which are hard to grab and hold onto.

This week those plot threads were a little stronger; they were more like plot ropes. Which, in light of the funny but head-scratching episodes we've seen in the last few months, gives me hope that a balance is being struck.

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'Cougar Town' - 'Turn This Car Around' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 25th 2010 12:02AM
Sheryl Crow and Josh Hopkins in 'Cougar Town' - 'Turn This Car Around'(S01E18) Is it weird of me to think that the less I see of Courteney Cox in an episode, the more I like it?

Don't get me wrong; since this show has settled into being an ensemble show instead of being just about Jules Cobb, Cox's performance has become more nuanced and realistic. But what's also been happening is that the surrounding characters' stories have become more interesting, while Jules stays the same wine drinkin' fool she's been since day one.

So tonight, when Jules vows to not drink wine for a month, we saw what happens when Jules Cobb turns into Monica Gellar. It wasn't pleasant, but it also wasn't as annoying as it seemed to be portrayed. More on this later.

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Zach Braff Tells Facebook Fans That 'Scrubs' is Done

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 24th 2010 12:27PM
'Scrubs' season nine cast
If you're a fan of 'Scrubs' and were holding out hope that the show was going to return... well, you weren't paying attention to the signs. ABC burned off the final two episodes unannounced this month; the season finale aired before a night of Wednesday comedy reruns. Then a number of show writers and producers took to their Twitter and Facebook feeds to mention that last week's episode was the "series finale" and not the season finale.

But if you need to find an "official" word that the show is done, you pretty much can't get any more official than Zach Braff himself. He told his Facebook fans that "it appears that "New Scrubs", "Scrubs 2.0", "Scrubs with new kids", "Scrubbier", "Scrubs without JD" is no more. It was worth a try, but alas... it didn't work."

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'Scrubs' - 'Our Driving Issues' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 11th 2010 11:01AM
John C. McGinley & Eliza Coupe, 'Scrubs'
(S09E12)
With our illustrious leader away on a covert mission for the state (you didn't hear that from me), I agreed to step in for this penultimate episode of 'Scrubs.' Hopefully, he'll be back in time for next week's finale as it may be his last chance. Still no word on the fate of 'Scrubs' 2.0 beyond these two episodes; I suspect ABC is holding out just in case ratings go up with the show as part of their successful "ABC Comedy Wednesday" block.

The episode itself was a bit of a mixed bag. I'm still just not able to get into Cole as a character. He's far too cartoonish for my tastes. At least J.D.'s antics were tempered by the sense that he was a person we could believe in, while Cox showed a vulnerable side underneath all his venom. I'm still struggling to believe in Cole as a sympathetic character.

Luckily, some moves were made to correct that as the episode wound down. Words of wisdom from one Bob Kelso making the difference in that one; what an interesting progression Kelso's character has had over the seasons.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 'Cougar Town'

by Patricia Chui, posted Mar 10th 2010 12:30PM
Cougar TownConfession: There is a half-hour ABC comedy, airing on Wednesdays, that I look forward to watching all week. It's smart, funny, quirky, one of the happy surprises of this past season -- and it isn't 'Modern Family.'

Well, all right, it is 'Modern Family.' But there's a second comedy in that same neck of the woods, sharing the 9PM hour like some overeager neighbor or a puppy begging you to pick it up. And though I gave it the brush-off at first, I am now, somewhat to my chagrin, forced to admit it. I caved. Yes, I love [whisper] 'Cougar Town.'

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'Cougar Town' - 'When a Kid Goes Bad' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 11th 2010 11:40AM
Dan Byrd, Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, and Busy Philipps in 'Cougar Town' - 'When a Kid Goes Bad'
(S01E15)
If you want to see evidence of how much a show can change in its first season, look no further than this week's guest star, Barry Bostwick.

He's been among the Bill Lawrence Players for almost fifteen years now, since he was cast as Mayor Randall Winston on 'Spin City.' As Lawrence has said, that show so completely changed focus during its first season, from a romantic comedy to a workplace/government comedy, that the part of one of its stars, Carla Gugino, was cut halfway through that year.

Last night's episode really brought home the fact that in quick order 'Cougar Town' has become much more than what the show was supposed to be about when it debuted. The world surrounding Jules Cobb has now expanded to the point where we see where Andy works, we know Laurie's last name (Keller? Hope she's not related... ) and see enough mixing of characters to make us want to see more.

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Review: 'Cougar Town' - 'All the Wrong Reasons'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 4th 2010 11:21AM
Courteney Cox and Christa Miller in 'Cougar Town' - 'All the Wrong Reasons'(S01E14) Ever watch an episode and think the writers wrote it just to address the gripes of its fans? That's the way I felt while watching this one. It was an episode that had more chuckles than laughs, but it addressed the stories of two characters who have probably gotten the shortest end of the character development stick so far: Ellie and Laurie. So, for that, the episode stood out.

Let's start with Laurie. For most of this first season, we've seen her as nothing more than a West-Central Florida wannabe version of Lindsay Lohan. So it was refreshing to see that she's actually grown a conscience, and is willing to admit to it. It's a good thing, because a caricature-heavy Laurie would be tough to take in the show's already-secured second season.

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ABC Greenlights Comedy from 'Scrubs' Writers

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 1st 2010 9:35AM
ABC logoABC really loves dealing with Bill Lawrence and his crew, don't they? 'Scrubs' has been on far longer than anyone expected, and 'Cougar Town' is now on its way to a second season. It seems like Steve McPherson and company haven't been deterred by the poor ratings of 'Scrubs,' since he's ordered a pilot from two of the show's writers.

'How to Be a Better American' is about a middle-aged man who goes on a journey to be a better man, dragging his unwilling family along with him. It's a single-camera comedy that will be run by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, longtime members of Team Lawrence; they will also be writing the pilot.

No casting news yet, so the show is more of a concept than anything else. But it sounds kind of like 'The Middle' in an RV, which actually wouldn't be so bad. As long as they don't have a kid who whispers to himself, they'll be OK.

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Review: Cougar Town - Stop Dragging My Heart Around

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 21st 2010 11:52AM
Courteney Cox and Brian Van Holt in Cougar Town: Stop Dragging My Heart Around(S01E13) Wow. Didn't think I'd miss so much in one week. But the episode I had to pass on to Isabelle because of the TCAs was full of character movement; Jules breaks up with Jeff because she doesn't want to be tied down, Laurie and Grayson hook up because of their various relationship issues, and Andy gets a lot of agita from keeping all the group's secrets.

So to see it all play out this week made me a little bit uneasy, but that's a good thing. This show needed some raised stakes among its ensemble, even if we're starting to set up one of those eye-rolling situations where people start to sleep with each other and always end up finding out. Hopefully, this is something that will be examined in dribs and drabs and doesn't dominate the storytelling in the future.

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Review: Scrubs - Our True Lies

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 20th 2010 3:25PM
Kerry Bishe as Lucy in Scrubs(S09E10) After last week's seemingly out-of-order interlude with J.D. and Elliot, we're back to the purity of following the med students around, and I have to say, this was the best of those episodes to date.

Given the proper elbow room, you can see even some of the more one-note characters, like Lucy and Drew Cole, grow and change. And, given the fact that even Bill Lawrence thinks it's a 70/30 shot against renewal, it's a bit of a shame; episodes like this make me want to get to know these characters a little more and follow them through their med school trials and tribulations.

Again, the pacing of the episode was slower, and we didn't see as many flashbacks and fantasy sequences. Which is fine with me; I want to get to know these characters with regards to how they interact with each other, not how they fantasize.

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Bill Lawrence on the Cougar Town renewal and Scrubs missteps - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 16th 2010 11:06AM
Bill Lawrence at the Winter 2010 TCAsDuring ABC's portion of the press tour (which feels like a month ago already), the network had its Wednesday night comedy showrunners on for a panel. Surpisingly, Bill Lawrence actually let Steven Levitan of Modern Family and Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline of The Middle speak for a good portion of the time, though he had a few things to say himself, not the least of which was that Conan's letter saying no to 12:05 on NBC was a "ballsy" move.

You knew I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to speak to Bill while he was there, especially with Cougar Town getting picked up for a second season and the new Scrubs trying to find its way after a shaky start. The conversation we had is after the jump.

(Oh, and it's always amazing to me that I can talk to Lawrence for maybe 15 minutes, cut out 3500 words, and still have 2500 words left. The man can talk a blue streak.)

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Review: Scrubs - Our Stuff Gets Real

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 13th 2010 2:17PM
Scrubs: Our Stuff Gets Real
(S09E09) While the illustrious boss-man -- AKA Joel Keller -- is off at the TCA Tour stalking creator Bill Lawrence, I have the honor of stepping in and looking at the latest episode of Scrubs. J.D. returned this week, and the opening sequence slipped back to having him hang the final x-ray, rather than Lucy, who took over the last couple of episodes.

With J.D. back, the silliness between him and Turk returned as well, but it didn't dominate the episode as it so often has in the past. It was also nice to see the old Elliot in full neurotic meltdown mode. Plus, the scene at home where she was scarfing down her meat salad instead of making sweet love to J.D. was almost too authentic to real life with a pregnant woman. It was nice to see J.D. being supportive, if frustrated. And at least Cox is there to support his neediness.

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Review: Cougar Town - Rhino Skin

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 7th 2010 10:24AM
Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox in Cougar Town : Rhino Skin(S01E11) I have to open this review by saying I've never been a big fan of Lisa Kudrow's work. Phoebe, for the most part, was my least favorite character on Friends, and Kudrow always struck me as the kind of actor who plays one role really well, then just plays variations on that role for the rest of his or her career. When you like that signature character, you're fine with it. But when you don't, it just becomes grating.

Any role I've seen Kudrow in just reminds me of Phoebe, and the role she played last night, as mean skin doc Amy Evans, just felt like Phoebe when she was in one of her bad moods. So the overhyped Friends-reunion part of the episode didn't do much for me, for a lot of reasons. But the rest of the episode was just more evidence that this is quickly becoming one of the best ensembles on TV.

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Review: Scrubs - Our White Coats / Our Couples

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 6th 2010 10:09AM
Donald Faison and John C. McGinley in Scrubs: Our Couples
(S09E07 / S09E08)
I don't usually do a joint review when two episodes of a show air in the same night, but both these episodes were so interestingly similar in tone, that I felt it was better to discuss them together than separately. Also, I've got a case of the winter lazies.

But back to that first point: Many of you couldn't understand why I hated the episode on New Year's Day so much; many of you felt that it did a nice job of showcasing the med students as well as a maturing Turk and Elliot. But there was something so off about how those characters were written last week that it didn't sit well with me. This week's episodes showed me why. They also gave me a good indication of the pace and tone that Med School should settle into. Just hope it's not too late.

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