When Does Cougar Town Return?

February 13, 2012 by staff 

When Does Cougar Town Return?, “Cougar Town” executive story editor Kate Purdy, who grew up in San Antonio, couldn’t ask for a sweeter valentine.

ABC seemingly shelved the sitcom, which led to a passionate grassroots effort to stir up fans with cross-country screening parties (including one last month in Austin). Now, at last, “Cougar Town” returns for a third season – 15 episodes – at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I’m really happy about the Valentine’s Day return,” Alamo Heights grad Purdy, 32, said in a phone chat.

Although lots of couples opt to go out that night rather than stay home to watch TV, it’s also “very memorable,” Purdy said, “and ‘Cougar Town’ has a very romantic first episode that plays into the feeling of the day.”

Yes, we’ll finally see Grayson ( Josh Hopkins) pop the question to Jules ( Courteney Cox) in a wacky way. He does some detective work first. One of the gang asks Jules what her ideal engagement scenario would be, and she rattles off everything she’s ever wanted in a marriage proposal. Will Grayson grant all her wishes?

He clearly does something right, since I’ve been assured that the season will end with the two getting wed. In fact, in an ironic twist, Cox’s estranged husband, David Arquette – they separated last year – will pop up in the last episode, Purdy revealed.

“He plays a very helpful hotel employee,” she said.

The two, who have a daughter, Coco, remain on great terms, Purdy said.

“She’s very supportive of David; when he was on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ she would go to every taping, and they’re still doing projects together.”

Any truth to gossip that Cox and co-star Hopkins dated?

“They’re good friends,” said the writer, who got married herself relatively recently to Joe Kelly, a writer on “How I Met Your Mother.” “She even tries to set him up. But they’ve never dated.”

Purdy, who works on jokes and scenes with a team of other writers, admitted they feel a bit hamstrung by the show’s increasingly inapt name.

Forty-something divorcee Jules “is definitely not a cougar,” Purdy said. “That’s not what the show is about anymore.”

After she experimented with younger guys in the series’ first several months, Purdy said, “we saw quickly that Courteney was so talented and it was more fun to see her with the other regulars, goofing around with friends her own age.”

The writers even spent days brainstorming on possible new titles – “The Cul-de-sac Crew” and “The Gang,” for instance – that made more sense. However, they were worried that fans wouldn’t take to a name change.

Though she acknowledges “Last Man Standing,” is “a strange lead-in” for “Cougar Town,” Purdy is pleased that the Tim Allen family comedy has a large 40-something following.

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