No executive producer has worked harder than Bill Lawrence to drum up an audience for a show on the bubble. As Cougar Town waited for a return date to the ABC schedule (it's back tonight at 8:30/7:30c), Lawrence kept the show in the public eye by throwing viewing parties around the country (featuring plenty of wine, of course), keeping fans engaged on Twitter and posting clips online. He took time away from beating himself up over the comedy's questionable title to answer our showrunner survey.
TV Guide Magazine: When I insist to friends that they try Cougar Town, they give me the stink eye. What should I say?
Bill Lawrence: Explain for the millionth time that it's not about an old gal chasing young guys. Balloons will fall from the ceiling, because it's the millionth time. Also, let us convince you on Twitter @VDOOZER, @CourteneyCox, @ChristaBMiller, @Busyphilipps25, @MrJoshHopkins, @CougarTownRoom, @kbiegel.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Lawrence: I wish I could say there would be any real risk for people that don't watch. I'd be sad, I guess, but no one would get hurt.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an algorithm for your show.
Lawrence: Cougar Town = Friends plus Scrubs plus booze minus medicine minus coffee minus anyone being "on a break."
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about Cougar Town?
Lawrence: That it was the best ensemble cast working and that it was a great comedy about adult friendship.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing that anyone has said?
Lawrence: A British newspaper did an article on female high school teachers having sex with their students and suggested it could be because of "shows like Cougar Town."
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Lawrence: Hopefully both of them?
TV Guide Magazine: How are you using your power of TV for good?
Lawrence: I have no power, but I'd like to think I've helped the wine industry.
TV Guide Magazine: Thanks to Cougar Town, I don't feel bad about drinking half a bottle of wine every night. That's OK, right?
Lawrence: I hope so — I'm the exact same.
TV Guide Magazine: You've known Courteney Cox for years. Do you still snicker when you say her last name?
Lawrence: I don't. My high school English teacher was named Bob Cox (hence Dr. Cox on Scrubs).
TV Guide Magazine: You once solicited advice for alternate titles. What were your favorites?
Lawrence: 1. Sunshine State 2. The Drinking Age 3. Stay Tuned for More Modern Family 4. Friends II
TV Guide Magazine: Why can't you use any of them?
Lawrence: We've decided to wear Cougar Town, the worst-titled show in history, as our badge of honor.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. What idea didn't make it out of the writers' room?
Lawrence: The entire notion of "good luck enemas." True. And a bad idea.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst idea the network had that may or may not have made it to air?
Lawrence: ABC is nice enough to let me do my own stuff.
TV Guide Magazine: Fill in the blank: Big Joe leads to Big Karl, which leads to ______________.
Lawrence: Rehab? Happiness? Your choice.
TV Guide Magazine: Among your actors, who would do best on Celebrity Apprentice?
Lawrence: They're all too arrogant to wait on someone else.
TV Guide Magazine: What's your dream Cougar Town spin-off?
Lawrence: I think I'd like to star in a show with my wife [Christa Miller, Ellie] so she would have to say what I write back to me.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
Lawrence: None. But I got fired from Friends (first season), Boy Meets World and The Nanny, so those aren't super memories. Plus on my last day of work on Friends, Courteney called me "Chris."
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!