Courteney Cox and the rest of the Cougar Town cast and crew threw themselves a holiday party on the Sony lot in Culver City yesterday. Ian Gomez and Courteney took turns riding an oversized, inflatable slide, while Dan Byrd chowed down on a burger. Jules and Laurie were among Buzz's best platonic TV duos to round out a banner year for one of our favorite shows. We also loved the Friends reunion with Jennifer Aniston, though the series is on an extended hiatus so their other costar Matthew Perry's new comedy can make its debut. There were also major changes in Cox's personal life and her surprising split from husband David Arquette is one of our biggest headlines of 2010.
ABC was the last big network at the TCAs, but it kicked off the morning with a big one — the cast of Lost. Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lily, a Robert Pattinson-gushing Emilie de Ravin, and several other members of the cast gathered together to reminisce about their last season together. Matthew Fox missed the panel, while his costars talked about their favorite scenes over the years together, and how we might feel about the finale — read more about what they shared here. We also checked out The Deep End, a new drama about young, hot lawyers, including True Blood's Mehcad Brooks, who many of you want to see more of in 2010.
Bill Lawrence and a few of ABC's other comedy writers hit the stage in the afternoon, fresh off the news that their shows were picked up for a second season. They kept the critics laughing through the afternoon talking about the long life of Scrubs, the Conan and Jay mess, and even a few Friends. When asked about following up Lisa Kudrow's appearance on Cougar Town with more of Courteney Cox's friends, Bill said, "Jennifer Aniston is coming on the show, she is not aware of that yet."
Lots more photos from the TCAs, so read more
When I first checked out Cougar Town, the new ABC comedy from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and starring Courteney Cox, I was a little concerned. The show was racier than I was expecting, and something in the tone seemed a little off. Apparently, I wasn't alone in that opinion — and apparently, Lawrence is listening. When he took the stage at TCA over the weekend, one of his main messages seemed to be that he knows he has some work to do.
"It's the first time I've ever written a show that I feel like I need outside input [to get right]," Lawrence told me after his session, adding that his staff now has more female writers than male writers. Though his wife (Christa Miller, who also stars in the show) and their friends provide him with a lot of material, he said he still has a tendency to see things from a guy's perspective — like a waxing scene he recently wrote that he said might have gone down the 40-Year-Old Virgin route if he hadn't been careful.
A number of the things that bugged me in the pilot have been reshot: He said the opening scene (which used to feature Cox and Busy Philipps's characters ogling guys at a high school football game) felt "like a cartoon" and has been changed, and he's toned down lines that make it seem like Cox's character couldn't get a date despite looking like, y'know, Courteney Cox. (Now it's more that — as a friend told him — "every single guy at our age is either gay, broken, or dating younger girls.")
To hear what Lawrence thinks of the term "cougar" and why he used it for the title, read more
I was so excited when ABC picked up Scrubs from NBC last year, because I thought that would give the show an opportunity to go out with the kind of finale it deserved. Well, that finale is just a week away now — and there's word that it might not be the end of the show after all.
This isn't the first time we've heard Scrubs renewal buzz, but it's starting to seem more serious, considering that ABC and Executive Producer Bill Lawrence are reportedly talking about budget and which cast members could return for a possible ninth season. Zach Braff has said this season would be his last, and several of the others (Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, and Neil Flynn among them) have been cast in pilots that are currently under consideration. But that wouldn't necessarily keep some or all of them from returning part-time, and the show does have a new crop of interns who could keep things going.
Scrubs hasn't exactly been going crazy in the ratings, but apparently it's been consistent enough that ABC might want to keep it around. And the Hollywood Reporter suggests that its renewal could mean good things for Better Off Ted, too, as there's talk of "possibly extending the pairing into next season." But would people keep watching Scrubs for another year — especially if the original cast members were only around occasionally? Has the show already told its best stories, or is there life in it yet?
Photo copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.
If you're a Scrubs fan, there's one important thing to remember about tonight's premiere: The show makes its debut on ABC, not NBC, its previous longtime home. So tell your friends and check your DVR: The Sacred Heart doctors have, as the ads have been saying, found "a better place to operate."
The general consensus seems to be that in its new (and likely final) season, Scrubs is better than it's been in years. And that's good news, because if the show is really wrapping up this year, I'd love to see it happen on a high note. The first couple of episodes are going to be a little less silly, because, as Bill Lawrence said, "the show has to be borderline real for people to give a sh*t." (Fair enough.) But that doesn't mean it's not still clever and funny.
It also has Courteney Cox on board for a few weeks, starting with tonight's two new episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m. The guest-starring gig led to her taking the lead in a new series from the Scrubs creator, and I'm excited to see her doing comedy again. Her character, the new chief of medicine, is described as a mix of "super-friendly and soulless," and that's clear just from a couple of clips. To check them out, read more
Courteney Cox's guest appearance on Scrubs won't be the end of the partnership between her and that show's creator, Bill Lawrence. The two are teaming up for a new comedy called Cougar Town, which will star Cox as a newly single 40-year-old with a 17-year-old son.
"Forty-year-old women on TV are so beautiful and perfect and wrinkle-free," Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter. "People don't do the reality of it, and there is a real comedy area about a woman who is talking about Botox, about having sex with the lights on and how her body is changing." He said he based parts of the role on his wife, Christa Miller, who plays Jordan on Scrubs.
Lawrence first worked with Cox on Friends and described her as "comedically fearless," which makes sense: Back at TCA, he talked how she was "up for anything" and he'd had to leave her back at the set during the Scrubs panel because she was filming a gory-sounding fantasy sequence. For her part, Cox said she's "a huge fan of Bill Lawrence and his comedic sensibilities."
After the darkness of Dirt, it should be fun to see Cox back to doing comedy. Just one thing, though: The name Cougar Town makes me cringe a little. I guess I'm just not ready to "reclaim" the word cougar yet. Can you work on that, Bill?
After spending a long day sitting on panels and fielding questions at the TCAs, the ABC and Disney stars got dressed up and hit the red carpet last night. Despite moving filming to NYC, the Ugly Betty beauties like Becki Newton (get her look here) were representing, even with no America Ferrera. Mixing our medical shows, Kate Walsh hung all over Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence celebrating life back on ABC. Nick Lachey didn't have Vanessa on his arm but looked handsome out promoting his High School Musical reality show. Check out lots more over on Buzz from all the stars and all the fun new and familiar shows!
To see more from the party including Selena Gomez, Victor Garber, Teri Hatcher, Peter Krause, Blair Underwood, Dave Annable, Zach Braff, Nicollette Sheridan just read more
The cast of Scrubs just got offstage a few minutes ago at the TCA press tour, and my stomach still hurts from laughing. The Sacred Heart crew seems so grateful to have what Zach Braff called "a bonus year" to work together after narrowly escaping cancellation (well, several times) at the hands of NBC. Now on ABC, whose studio arm has produced the show since the start, Scrubs seems creatively refreshed — I'll say that I personally laughed harder at the brief trailer for the new season than I have at any episode in years. There was enough material in their 45-minute session to fuel several posts (and probably a stand-up special for executive producer Bill Lawrence), but I'll just share a few of the best tidbits now:
- The million-dollar question: Is this the last year of Scrubs? "It is most likely Zach Braff's final year on the show," Lawrence said. But he said he's always thought the show could be like the comedy version of ER, with new actors coming in. We'll see new interns this Fall, including the hilarious Aziz Ansari. Regardless of whether ABC decides to bring the show back for another year, "We're certainly going to film the last one like it's young Zach Braff's exit and make a big deal out of it," Lawrence said.
- For Braff's part, he said he does have the sense that it's his last year — but he "would love to come back and visit, direct some, do craft service if they need some . . . "
- Lawrence said the characters will change a little bit this year (partially because now they'll be the bosses of a whole new group of young doctors). "One of the things that sometimes bums me about television as a TV fan is, we like continuity. We don't want our characters to change," Lawrence said. "At the same time, once you reach the seven- or eight-year mark, you're like, when the hell are these people going to change?"
To hear a little bit about some of the new episodes — which Lawrence said are "as good as anything we've done" — and see what's taking the cast to the Bahamas, just read more
The cast of Scrubs had a lot to celebrate last night after their fairy-tale season finale, but instead of poppin' champagne, they opted to try their skills at the poker table at the the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research Fundraiser. Sarah Chalke looked lovely on scruffy Zach's arm while CaCee Cobb just looked happy to be with her man Donald Faison. Seems like a good time was had by all, but the real question is whether or not Zach tried to recruit a few of his friends to do a little lip syncing for the video he's directing after all the gambling fun.
More pics including Teri Hatcher, Julie Bowen, and Holly Robinson Peete, so just read more
Late on Thursday, the Hollywood Reporter broke news that ABC is in negotiations to pick up 18 episodes of Scrubs for 2008-09. NBC is reportedly not thrilled — while ABC actually owns the show, NBC says it still has the right to negotiate for its future — but if this news pans out, it means the remaining five episodes set to air this Spring would not be the end of the road for the series. In fact, this could potentially keep Scrubs on the air for a while, if Zach Braff and the gang are up for it.
This news is at once exciting and worrisome to me. At the very least, this might secure the show the proper series finale that it and its fans deserve and that creator Bill Lawrence wants to make. On the other hand, if the show outstays its welcome on the airwaves, no one may end up caring about its finale anyway. How do you feel? Do you want more seasons of Scrubs?
Photo courtesy of NBC