News that TBS picked up the sitcom "Cougar Town" soon after it was announced that ABC had canceled the show made perfect sense. A March 2012 report by Ad Week revealed that the highest-rated comedy on a basic cable network are the reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" on TBS. S ince that report, TBS has been heavily promoting a brand new original comedy titled "Men at Work," which, judging from the previews, is best described as "The Big Bang Theory" with less emphasis on smart comedy and more emphasis on sexual humor.
Enter "Cougar Town."
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that TBS has looked at the ratings success of its three-nights-a-week load of "The Big Bang Theory" and come to the conclusion that comedies that focus on regular guys' -- which the nerds on "The Big Bang Theory" essentially are despite their high I.Q.'s -- obsession over sex is the key to igniting interest in Conan O'Brien's talk show, as well as the rest of their lineup. "Cougar Town" is a sex comedy from its title on down. Yes, it is more about regular gals obsessing over sex than it is about regular guys, but the execs at TBS are clearly smart enough to realize that evening out the testosterone of the professors and the working men is an approach worthy of consideration.
"Cougar Town" makes a perfect bridge between "The Big Bang Theory" and "Men at Work," not just because all the characters on these shows are obsessing about sex and relationships. All three shows carry a tinge of nostalgia for older viewers. "The Big Bang Theory" prominently features actors who first came to attention during the 1990s on shows like "Roseanne" and "Blossom." "Men at Work" stars Danny Masterson of "That 70's Show" and the star of "Cougar Town" is Courteney Cox of "Friends."
While "The Big Bang Theory" began life by focusing on the lives of its characters as highly educated college scientists, by the third season at best, it had transformed into a show mainly about relationships. The previews of "Men at Work" are notoriously short on any scenes that show the characters actually working or even at the workplace. That TBS saw an opportunity when ABC canceled "Cougar Town" is not at all surprisingly. The original Superstation of cable no longer has a defining character. The addition of a castoff from ABC's wickedly successful Wednesday night lineup may well be exactly what it takes to give this show, that is significantly shorter on clever dialogue and memorable characters than "The Big Bang Theory," a much longer life than it could ever have enjoyed on ABC.
More From This Contributor: