“Cougar Town” Relocates to TBS

The Courtney Cox sitcom moves to basic cable after three troubled seasons on ABC

Courtney Cox and her “Cougar Town” cast and crew are packing up and moving all the way from ABC to TBS.

The “very funny” basic cable network announced Thursday that it has picked up the comedy for a fourth season and will also air previously seen episodes. The season three finale will air on ABC Tuesday, May 15.

Negotiations between “Cougar Town” and ABC were scratchy to say the least, making the move to TBS not a complete surprise.

Cast member Busy Phillips made her dissatisfaction with ABC public when she told E!: “It has not been fun to feel like the ugly stepsister of the network. They moved us around, they took us off air for months.”

Since it debuted in 2009, the half-hour sitcom – that focuses on a divorced woman (Cox), her friends, ex-husband and her son who all live in fictional Florida town – has jumped time slots, days and was held over from last fall before returning to screens on Valentine’s Day of this year.

Previously, “Cougar Town” followed ratings juggernaut “Modern Family” on Wednesday nights and averaged nearly eight million viewers. This season’s 10 episodes have averaged 5.3 million viewers following a move to Tuesdays. An ill-fitting move for the female-friendly comedy that saw them preceded by the Tim Allen-macho fest “Last Man Standing.”

Co-creator Bill Lawrence experienced a similar situation on a previous show, “Scrubs.” At the time, Lawrence complained about the treatment the hospital-based sitcom received at the hands of NBC for seven seasons. Only it was ABC that swooped in and picked up “Scrubs” for a further two seasons.

"So happy we get to continue making our show!" tweeted Courtney Cox soon after the move to TBS was made public.

“Cougar Town” will begin airing on TBS in early 2013.

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