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Bill Lawrence Won’t Be Cougar Town’s Showrunner Next Season

COUGAR TOWN - "Cougar Town" wraps up the season with two back-to-back episodes for the Season Finale, TUESDAY, MAY 29 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. In "Your World," Part 2, fed up with the lack of privacy, Grayson convinces Jules to elope to Napa . . .  but then the cul de sac crew happily tags along. In this episode, David Arquette guest stars as a hotel concierge who'll go to great (and possibly illegal) lengths to help the wine wedding go off without a hitch. (ABC/ERIC MCCANDLESS)
COURTENEY COX, BILL LAWRENCE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

With Wednesday's announcement that Cougar Town would officially be coming to TBS, we couldn't help but ask star Courteney Cox the second burning question on our minds: Has she, like her alter ego Jules during last night's episode, ever forgotten to flush? "I actually don't flush a lot," she admitted to Vulture at the Turner networks upfront luncheon at Del Posto. "That's because I pee about five times during the night. If I flushed every time, somebody would would wake up. I flush when it's important, you know?"

So that's settled! As for the move from ABC to a new network, the actress couldn't be happier about the cul-de-sac crew boozing into the New Year, and it's all thanks to series creator Bill Lawrence's "never say die" attitude. "You know, Bill kept saying this show is not going to go away, it's not going to go away. When he speaks like that, you know that he means it. I don't know what his plan was, but what he and ABC Studios did by pursuing this deal just shows how much faith they have in the show," Cox said. "We love doing this show, and it's a great fit because TBS really promotes their shows. We have a lot of fans that are very avid, we just need more of them. Being on TBS is a shot to get a new group of people to check us out." The actress, who just finished directing the upcoming Lifetime movie Tallhotblonde, based on the true story of a romance that begins online and ends in murder, said she's looking forward to spending some downtime with her daughter, Coco, 7, before Cougar Town resumes production on new episodes in August for a premiere in 2013. On the other hand, her wheels are already turning when it comes to cable's near-limitless boundaries. "As a producer, I can't wait. This is a fresh start. It will feel like the same show, but we're going to have a new [showunner], there will be new people, new changes."

That last comment from Cox set off our Spidey senses, since in all of the reporting about the show's move to TBS, we hadn't heard anything about staff changes on the show. Vulture contacted a rep for Lawrence, who confirmed that Cox hadn't been sipping out of Big Carl for too long: It turns out Lawrence and co-creator Kevin Biegel are indeed planning to step back from day-to-day oversight of Cougar Town. They'll remain actively involved in the creative direction of the show, but Lawrence, Biegel, and Cox are now hunting for a new showrunner to oversee the first batch of ten episodes for TBS. It's unclear yet whether they'll bring in someone from the outside or look from within the show's current writing ranks.

Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC