COUGAR TOWN - ABC's "Cougar Town" stars Josh Hopkins as Grayson, Busy Philipps as Laurie, Dan Byrd as Travis, Courteney Cox as Jules, Christa Miller as Ellie and Ian Gomez as Andy and Brian Van Holt as Bobby. (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)
It’s been a long nine months of waiting for the return of the red wine-swilling residents of “Cougar Town," but they’re finally back on the prowl.
The show returns for a third season of mining laughs from the Jules Cobbs’ codependent clique of and her son as they struggle with various relationship intricacies. After joining a celebration of the sitcom's comeback at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, PopcornBiz has the inside scoop on the upcoming season, which the cast and creators hope will finally deliver as many ratings as laughs. But let’s let them tell you:
Courteney Cox (Jules): “Jules and Grayson are getting engaged in the first episode, and it’s been great figuring out where you're going to take these two people that have already been in a relationship before and how you're going to deal with grownup issues and not do your typical push-pull – like, not are they going to be together or not, but more like how are they going to make it work. I love doing this show – I love it! I have a great time. This year I directed – I did two episodes. That's obviously where I'm going to start going in my future, because it's so perfect for my personality.”
Josh Hopkins (Grayson): We start with a proposal and an engagement and then that obviously points towards a wedding. So it was a good outline for everyone right there. We kind of knew the direction that the A-story was going in for the most part. Knowing that the road to the altar would be paved in red wine made every day a joy to work on.
Brian Van Holt (Bobby): “I like the fact that I got to explore a serious relationship – or at least the attempt. Bobby is trying grow up a little bit and he wants to mature. I was fortunate enough to play opposite Sarah Chalke. She came on and did a few episodes to play Bobby's girlfriend. She's fantastic. She's a wonderful comedienne and a wonderful person. She's fun in front of and off the camera. It was nice to see her reunite with a lot of the other crewmembers that she worked with on 'Scrubs' for so many years. She knows them better than we do, and we were all a little envious of their closeness and their relationship.”
Christa Miller (Ellie): “At first I was not excited that Ellie and Andy were going to have the demon child from hell, because I don't like working with children in general. But then they hired a kid that got it very quickly and he was very good. It was so ridiculous to play that, making such bad choices as a mom and not disciplining a child and then what happens. That was really fun and it ultimately turned out to be really fun to play.”
Ian Gomez (Andy): “I was told that I was going to run for mayor, and because I'm somewhat – I don't know how to describe it – effeminate? I was thinking of the clothes I was going to be able to wear. I was going, 'Wow. If I'm the mayor I'm probably going to have to have some really nice suits.' ... I run against Barry Bostwick, who plays the mayor of Gulf Haven on the show. One of the things that political candidates do – there's always some sort of picture opportunity or something and the big one in Gulf Haven is the Pizza Toss."
Dan Byrd (Travis): “I was kind of excited that I wasn't going to be tied up in another long romantic relationship like I was last season which kind of took me out of the group dynamic a little bit, even more so. So this year there's much more fraternizing with the rest of the gang going on, and that's way more fun than having to play the love-struck kid that wants to get married.”
On surprise guest star – and Cox’s ex – David Arquette:
Cox: “David is so good on the show. He's so funny and it was just nice to work with him again. I haven't worked with him since 'Scream 4,' but whenever we have a chance to do it we'll always do it because we adore each other.”
Miller: “I am, really, the love interest of David Arquette and I feel like I played it hot. Hot. He's a concierge at a hotel and for some reason he's taken a liking to me and then I just completely ignore that I have a husband and flirt with him to no end to get all the things at the hotel that we want in the most outrageous way.”
On luring even the most loyal viewers back after nine months off the air:
Gomez: “We've been going around the country doing these viewing parties, meeting all these fans. It's been fantastic. The turnouts have been wonderful. The people have been great. I'm really having a great time. Everyone is over 21 and so we're all drinking. So how bad can it be? In Austin, Texas a woman kept touching my head. She wouldn't say anything to me. She didn't want to ask me a question. We were in this bar and I'm talking to people and taking pictures. She didn't want a picture. She came up to me constantly and every ten or 15 minutes would rub my head and walk away. I was glad that she didn't have a knife or a gun or anything. I was a little scared. I don't recommend that for anyone. Do not come up to me and rub my head.”