It's been a nine month wait, but Cougar Town is finally giving birth to season 3. The show with the title everyone hates (and "everyone" includes its creator, Bill Lawrence) returns tonight (8:30 p.m. ET, on ABC) in its new time slot, following Tim Allen's sitcom, Last Man Standing. While the name doesn't appear to have changed, the show's third season arrives amid more media buzz than usual.
No doubt that's due to the publicity campaign that Lawrence has waged in response to the network's decision to push the start date back, and then back again. Between the season 3 preview parties that Lawrence has thrown, and the guest appearances by cast members on other shows, critics haven't been allowed to forget about Cougar Town. And that's to Lawrence's credit, because lately TV is offering more fast-moving, witty comedies like Modern Family and Happy Endings. In order to compete, the smart, sassy Cougar Town really needs to be, well, on the air.
Due to the late start, Cougar Town will be shortened from 22 episodes to 15. But fans of the Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) coupling will like this season, because it kicks off with his marriage proposal. "It's sweet the way he does it," Cox tells USA Today. "It made me cry when I saw it." As the season unfolds, there will, of course, be bumps in the road. What relationship doesn't face them? But the "will-they-or-won't-they?" stuff is behind them. "For me, it's about how the couple manages once they decide to commit," Lawrence said in the same article.
As for their wine-loving friends, Laurie (Busy Philipps) will get into cake decorating, Scrubs' Sarah Chalke will guest star as Bobby's (Brian Van Holt) new girlfriend, and Ellie and Andy (Christa Miller and Ian Gomez) will have some parenting issues to work through with their ill-behaved toddler, Stan (Sawyer Ever).
And of course, there's a wedding to plan. "She's not obsessed with flowers and all that stuff," Cox says. "It's more about the amount of people. She doesn't like to hurt anyone's feelings."
But if feelings must be hurt, she always has her BFF Ellie to do it for her. She has a knack for it!