"They are thrilled."
This is how Cougar Town executive producer Bill Lawrence describes the mood from Courteney Cox and the rest of his cast, as the news broke today that the ABC comedy will be moving to TBS for a fourth season.
But is it true his stars are making less with the new TBS deal? And are there any hard feelings regarding ABC, which let them go? Read on for the scoop from Cougar Town's head honcho…
Now that you aren't airing on ABC any more, what can you say about their lack of promotion the last season or two? Any hard feelings?
Not at all. ABC is also the studio and ABC and Disney did all the legwork on this. The fact that they not only kept the show going, hopefully til it goes to syndication, but also set us up at a network that is competing on the same playing field as the major networks, is great. The biggest order we would have ever gotten from ABC would have been 13 if we were lucky, and we would have been a midseason replacement. On TBS, we're going to be a flagship comedy and they're going to build a lot of marketing around us. They are launching us as a whole new show.
There have been a few reports that the cast is going to be paid less by TBS. Is that true?
No, there are no pay cuts. TBS is paying the same licensing fee as ABC paid. The cast, they are all over the moon! Not only do they like their job, but the best they could have gotten was 13 episodes on ABC. They are getting a high-profile launch, which goes 15 episodes and TBS bought all the other 60 episodes we made, so they are super excited. We are getting a taste of being a network's priority. I had to have the whole cast sign off beforehand. TBS needed to know that everyone was on board.
What can you reveal about Tuesday's season finale?
Marriage. A little Travis and Laurie stuff and a giant play on one of my favorite movies of all time, Groundhog Day.
Did you write it as a series finale?
I don't want to sound cocky. But we had a giant amount of confidence that the show would survive. Because the studio liked it. But then we started going, 'Oh no,' because the finale would have been a great series finale, but not the one we had envisioned.