Atlanta’s TNT saved “Southland” from NBC.
Now raise a wine glass to sister station TBS, which has picked up ABC’s quirky sitcom “Cougar Town” for 15 episodes next years, according to TV Line.
The show, which survived three seasons but no consistent time slot on ABC, built up a modest but fervent fan base. Creator Bill Lawrence, worried about the show when it didn’t appear on the fall or spring schedule, held fan parties across the nation out of his own pocket, including one in Atlanta over Christmas break. ABC eventually stuck it on the schedule this spring on Tuesdays after “Last Man Standing.”
“Cougar Town is a smart, whimsical sitcom that draws its humor from likable, relatable characters,” said Michael Wright in a press release. “We are thrilled to have Cougar Town moving to the TBS neighborhood as the network continues to expand its slate of original comedy series.”
UPDATE: Lawrence spoke with TV Line’s Michael Ausiello late yesterday afternoon after the news was announced for an exclusive. He said ABC would have asked for only 13 episodes. TBS was willing to take 15. Better yet, it’s a two-year pickup, with TBS having the option to cancel after one year. And the licensing fee was the same so nobody takes a pay cut.
“TBS came at the show hard and passionately and is really looking at making it a flagship show for them,” he said.
Shows swapping networks is not terribly common but does happen on occasion. Examples include Lawrence’s show “Scrubs,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Roswell,” “Medium,” “The D.L. Hughley Show,” “Futurama,” “Project Runway,” and “Family Matters.”
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk