Courteney Cox likes calling the shots, literally.
The “Friends” alum has been involved extensively behind the scenes on her subsequent series, the two-season FX tabloid drama “Dirt” and the comedy “Cougar Town,” which moves from ABC to TBS for its fourth season starting Tuesday, Jan. 8. She’s been an executive producer on both, and she also directs five of the upcoming “Cougar Town” episodes, including the season premiere.
Cox tells Zap2it she felt confident “Cougar Town” mentor Bill Lawrence (who continues as a series writer and consultant) “was going to give me that shot,” since she also directed two episodes late in the show’s ABC run. “Once I did the first one — which had a big ‘Braveheart’-type battle that let me have a good time and open the show up — it was like, ‘OK, good. Now we can trust her.’
“I’m also involved in editing the show, and I have been since the beginning,” Cox adds, “so it’s kind of a no-brainer that I became one of the three directors for this year.” One of the others is John Putch, the son of actress Jean Stapleton, alias Edith Bunker on the landmark show “All in the Family.”
Cox tackled her latest “Cougar Town” duties after directing last June’s movie “Tall Hot Blonde” for Lifetime. “I’m so proud of it,” she reflects of the true drama about a murder that resulted from an online hookup. “It was done in 16 days, and I wish Garret Dillahunt would get nominated for an Emmy for it. He was just amazing, and so was [co-star] Laura San Giacomo.”
If Cox is satisfied to be directing a third of the new “Cougar Town” stories, she’s also happy with the amount of acting work the season requires from her as newly remarried mom Jules. “I love doing 15 episodes,” she says. “It’s a perfect amount.”