Will TBS Save 'Cougar Town' If ABC Cancels It?

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May 5th, 2012

Big Bang Theory repeats leading into Cougar Town originals on TBS? Penny can!

Deadline reports that TBS is in preliminary conversations about saving Cougar Town should ABC cancel it. We've still got Cougar Town on the bubble, and I'd be at least a little bit more surprised to see TBS pick it up than ABC.  We won't have to wait long to know its fate on ABC -- ABC announces its schedule on May 15.

  • AO

    Bill Gorman said, “Given that the show is produced by ABC Studios, if they are in fact talking to TBS, isn’t that a defacto admission that the show’s going to be canceled by ABC?”

    I can think of another couple of possibilities. They may not in any way be correct, but they’re *possible*…

    1) We know that ABC Studios really wants more Episodes. ABC may well *want* to cancel it, so ABC may have suggested that ABC Studios look for someone else to pick it up. If ABC Studios is successful, then both will be fine with ABC canceling it. If they’re not successful, then both ABC’s will spend extra effort in negotiating it. Maybe ABC will pick it up even though they don’t really want it, perhaps at an even lower cost than ABC Studios is already offering it for. But at least they’ll have tried to find another way.

    2) ABC Studios is simply being proactive in getting their ducks in a row. Once a series is cancelled, it seems to me that there is a pretty brief window in which it usually has a chance to be saved elsewhere. The more weeks that go by, the deader a cancelled series becomes as it loses attention and it’s personnel drift away. If ABC Studios has already started those conversations then they’re ahead of the game. They’re getting the brand name out there now, when there’s less news and scrambling then there will be right after all the other pick-ups and cancellations. IF TBS really is interested then they’re also getting an exclusive negotiating window before any other stations might bid for it.

  • Ryan Schwartz

    As an incentive, ABC Studios should offer them the reruns for peanuts! Let’s make this happen!

    TBS acquired the talent of Conan to bring a name to late night. Now with Courteney Cox, TBS can bring a name to their original sitcoms. I’d assume the seasons would only be 10-13 episodes a year, but that’s fine with me if it’s saved. Never imagined this was a possibility, but I’m glad it is.

    IF they save the show, I’d imagine a January/February premiere again though.

  • Verus

    Looking at the numbers I would think the show is dead but who knows.

  • Oliver

    …or it’s an acknowledgement that Disney-ABC Television really want to renew Cougar Town in spite of its poor ratings and are looking for the most profitable way of doing so.

  • MJDB

    Here’s what I have to say TBS:

    You’re a great network, but before you keep adding new shows, bring Are We There Yet? back because people will forget about it, while new shows you could keep delaying, as other people won’t forget. Also, when’s House of Payne’s finale airing, wasn’t it cancelled over a year ago already.

  • Randy W

    Not sure what happened to Cougar Town this season but after the first few eps I just couldnt bring myself to watch. I was a die-hard fan, never missed an ep but it seems they werent even trying anymore, so neither did I.

  • LOL

    Two questions for the fans of CT. Why would ABC even be talking to TBS if they were going to renew this show? (and) If this was any other show than your fan favorite, would you think ABC would or should renew it?

    In regards to my first question. I don’t remember if it was this site or not, but back a few years ago a fan favorite show Moonlight was cancelled, and I swear every other week there were other networks, CBS and Warner Bros. in talks to buy the show, and I am pretty sure nothing came of it. More recent let’s talk Terra Nova. Yes, cable is getting bigger, but the main reason shows that don’t make it on the networks like ABC, don’t reach cable, comes down to money. Think about it, why wouldn’t cable TV pick up a lot of series that networks cancelled (like CBS’s rejects), they would be a ratings hit on a cable network? I do believe ABC is going to cancel CT and even if they are in talks with TBS, it will come down to money. Oh one more thing, don’t think for one moment that the viewers of this show will follow it to cable, hard core fans yes, but that will be it.

    My second question, there is no thinking about it. I see fans of this show calling for LMS to be cancelled, really. I get shows that we love, and they are in danger or looking like they are history, it pisses you off. But, stop looking at situations like this as fans and look at them as non-fans.

  • Mark


    I had a dream it was renewed too! It’s a sign!

  • Oliver

    Two questions for the fans of CT. Why would ABC even be talking to TBS if they were going to renew this show? (and) If this was any other show than your fan favorite, would you think ABC would or should renew it?

    I’m not a fan of Cougar Town.

    However, Cougar Town will likely be much more profitable to Disney/ABC if Cougar Town reaches syndication numbers. Since it’s low rated, it might be more profitable for Disney/ABC to move it to TBS rather than keeping it on ABC and putting a better rated show on ABC.

    You’ve got to consider these decisions from the point of view of Disney/ABC Television Group’s finances rather than simply ABC Studios or the ABC network individually.

  • JohnnyRico

    I feel confident they will give this a last season and ABC Studios will make it financially viable for the network ABC.

    Right now ABC has 3 bubble shows that are not close to Syndication at all.
    Don’t Trust The B and Happy Endings are getting similiar numbers in the post MF slot that Cougartown did. LMS which premiered with a 3.5 is already consistenly below 2.0 when you add into the fact Tim Allen probably is one of the highest paid actors on tv that series is probably doing well below what was anticipated of it. It’s downword trajectory makes me think its the odd man out even if CT is canned.

  • Kyle

    Deadline is reporting that TBS IS picking up CT for 2 season, 15 episodes PER season which makes it available for syndication!.

    If true, Congrats CT fans!

  • Jeff R

    This deal will force ABC’s hand. TBS isn’t ideal, but I’ll take it over no CT at all. ABC’s loss is TBS’s gain! Still, I’d like to see ABC acknowledge they screwed CT over this year and renew it in a better timeslot for the fall.

    But beggers can’t be choosers. I’ll take CT any way I can get it!!!

  • rob60990

    The only timeslot Cougar Town would pull in less crappy ratings is after Modern Family and it had 2 seasons after it. That’s enough.

  • Common Anomaly

    @Jeff R. aka College Basketball Fan

    Do you plan on using something similar to this on Wednesday:

    Considering CT was up against the higher half hour for Fashion Star and LMS was against the lower half hour and CT and LMS were only a few demo points apart, CT had the better performance.

    ABC acknowledging they screwed CT over this year would be like Bill Lawrence acknowledging that he put the idea into ABC’s head to screw CT over this year by “hounding Paul [Lee] to give us a chance to lead off an hour.”

    Bill Lawrence, creator of Spin City, continues, “I’m not totally spinning. If I could have designed what I wanted to have happen this year, it would’ve been to be on after “Modern Family” until “Dancing” went off and then go to Tuesday. My hope would be that that happened, that we would get our old timeslot for the first month and a half.” Did Bill Lawrence actually repeatedly ask to be moved from behind Modern Family to another timeslot? Someone might have a wine problem.

    “”Scrubs,” when we got rolled out for mid-season back on NBC, it really helped us. Here, let me read to you from that e-mail I sent: “The positives: our show gets ruthlessly criticized following ‘Modern Family’ with lower numbers. If we get those numbers leading off an hour, you get praised. The network will have no money for promoting old shows in the fall other than ‘Modern Family,’ so we’ll be ignored, while we might actually get a push at mid-season.”

    The above quotes are from Bill Lawrence’s interview with Alan Speniwall on May 17, 2011.

    Cougar Town and Bill Lawrence got what they asked for: A Tuesday slot after Dancing went off, ignored in the fall, and pushed out at the end of the season.

  • intexor

    This is ridiculous. They probably fare better just showing TBBT repeats. Just let low rated shows die. You’re only giving hope to fans who really should be told the truth. Their show isn’t popular and is gone.

  • C.C.

    Terrible Show. I couldn’t believe it lasted as long as it did.

  • Fake Me Out


    I don’t think anyone has pointed out yet that such a move would require them to resign all the talent to new contracts … new contracts that would see them make a lot less money upfront and from reruns/syndication and DVD sales. A move from broadcast network to broadcast network (ie Scrubs going from NBC to ABC) would leave the contracts intact but going from broadcast network to a cable channel means a different set of conditions, fees, etc based on the various deals between the various guilds like the Writers, SAG, Producers, Studios etc.

    One could argue that ABC Studios would pay them the same just to get the deal but then that may either violate negotiated contract provisions and/or set a dangerous precedent that would cause talent on all the other cable shows to say “Me too!” and start to demand the same pay & perks.

    If this actually is going to occur, I’d see it more likely that a split broadcast deal is struck where one channel airs the shows ahead of the other similar to a few other such arrangements.


    Help save Endgame and watch season 1 on Hulu and RIP Goober

  • Ben

    Fox cancelled Futurama which got a second chance on Comedy Central and won the Emmy Award for Best Animated Series 2010 to 2011. Futurama has done Very well on Comedy Central, after being given another chance by that network.
    IF ABC cancels Cougar Town and TBS gives it a second chance; for goodness sakes, Do not air it in it’s previous time slot, Tuesday night 8 to 8:30 PM EST. NCIS aired a repeat episode on Tues. April 24, 2012 and still got far better ratings than original programming airing on ABC, FOX, and NBC.
    Airing a show against NCIS is almost certain to get it far lower ratings. Pick another time slot other than Tuesday night, 8 to 9 PM. Another day of the week if necessary.

  • JohnnyRico

    Has anyone considered the news of TBS being interested was leaked precisely because ABC Studios is trying to get a more favorable deal from the network ABC by making it look like they have other options. Even thought they will have to make the deal favorable ala Fringe/Til Death and take a hit they are maybe trying a tactic so the hit is a smaller one.

  • pete5125

    Bill Lawrence knows how to cut a budget he did it with Scrubs finale 2 seasons, and he will do it with Cougar Town, the end game is syndication so if ABC Network won’t take it then Cable is the next step, otherwise 1st run syndication is a possibility but that hasn’t been going on since the 80’s, straight to DVD was another possibility, then syndication, the show is 61 episodes in if TBS won’t take my guess is ABC will pick it up for 2 summer seasons or do like CBS does with Rules use it to plug in holes and order 1/2 seasons

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