Bill Lawrence isn’t saying a Jennifer Aniston guest spot on “Cougar Town” won’t happen, but it hasn’t been locked down quite yet.
“Dude, you’ve seen me do this a thousand times. I generally just say people are going to guest-star on the show and hope it happens,” Lawrence, who co-created and executive produces the ABC comedy, tells Zap2it. “I announced last year that Jennifer was going to be on the show, but I hadn’t really talked to her people, or to her. Apparently she’s got an active movie career.”
Lawrence does say, however, that he’s “doing everything I can to make that happen.”
“Jennifer and Courteney [Cox, ‘Cougar Town’s’ star] are actually friends in real life, and they have this great chemistry,” Lawrence says. “I’d kill to see them do comedy again.”
Lawrence was his usual expansive self in talking with us, and he shared a few more thoughts on the show, its much-discussed but unchanged title and what Season 2 will bring. Some highlights:
Still “Cougar Town”: Lawrence says discussions about changing the show’s name — “there’s too much evidence that it’s an exclusionary title” — but no one came up with anything good enough. “I liked the name ‘Sunshine State,’ but then ‘Mr. Sunshine'” — starring Cox’s former “Friends” husband, Matthew Perry — “got picked up,” he notes. “We couldn’t really put anything with ‘Friends’ in it, because to me it seemed too much like cheating. ‘Family Jules’ was out there, but I’m like, why not just call the show ‘Balls’? [laughs] … I think it would have been a bigger fight if we had cracked it, but we never did.”
Men vs. women: The “Cougar Town” writers room is pretty evenly divided between men and women, which is something of a rarity in TV comedy. “It’s gotten us a lot of the comedy on the show. … TV writing is a sexist business, and every other show I’ve been on has been eight guys and three girls or nine guys and two girls. When you have it [even], it’s fantastic comedy that goes right into our show. … It’s not a bunch of guys steamrolling two other voices — it’s a back-and-forth. It’s been a cool experience.”
Opening up: Lawrence says the show hasn’t booked any guest stars for the new season, but he hopes to open up the show’s world — and diversify the cast — with some more secondary characters. “Ian Gomez is Latino, but my other shows, the workplace comedies, have been more of a melting pot. So we’re going to try to mix that up some this year. … We’ll use things like Travis [Dan Byrd] going to college and the world expanding a little bit [to inject some diversity]. … I really like the show, but that’s one of the things that still bugs me.”
“Cougar Town” begins its second season on ABC on Sept. 22.