By ALICIA RANCILIO
NEW YORK — “Cougar Town” makes its move from ABC to TBS on Tuesday, premiering its fourth season, and Busy Philipps couldn’t be happier.
The 33-year-old actress recalled in a recent interview how the cast was assured by creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence that the comedy wouldn’t be canceled, but he couldn’t elaborate.
Some of her co-stars were taping TV pilots for other possible jobs, Philipps said. “But I’m at ICM, which handled the deal with ‘Cougar Town,’ and TBS, and (co-star and Lawrence’s wife) Christa Miller is also with them. Both our agents were like, `No, you’re not gonna do any pilots.’ So that was a little suspicious. They knew something we didn’t know.”
Lawrence has a history of keeping his critically acclaimed — but maybe not ratings-magnet — shows alive. His comedy “Scrubs” aired for seven seasons on NBC before switching to ABC.
With “Cougar Town” now on cable, Philipps said the writers are able to push the envelope a little more. “There was one joke in particular by another character that Standards and Practices wouldn’t let us air when we were on network and I was so bummed when it was cut from the script and it made it into the show this year, so I was really excited about that.”
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Still, she cautioned, “Cougar Town” is on a basic cable station. “It’s not HBO. I’m not having `True Blood’-type sex scenes.”
Philipps said she enjoys showcasing her comedic chops.
“I was always a very quirky kid. I remember very early like fourth or fifth grade doing pratfalls to make my friends laugh, like falling on the ground on the playground and doing like bits and characters,” she said.
On “Cougar Town,” Philipps plays Laurie Keller, a real estate assistant to Courteney Cox’s Jules, who has infiltrated her group of friends. She’s fun-loving, ditzy and has a history of one-night stands.
Philipps said she does “nerd out” by challenging herself to make each of Laurie’s outrageous stories or comments sound different from the one before.
The actress, who is expecting her second child, said the pregnancy has made her forgetful.
“I had a major case of pregnancy brain and had accidentally stolen my friend’s car keys and put them in my purse and left my cellphone at her house, and I was explaining to my husband in the kitchen that I needed him to go back and get my stuff, and my daughter (4-year-old Birdie), we didn’t even know she was listening, said, `Mama, I think that baby in your tummy is makin’ ya crazy.’ Perfectly sums it up!” she said.
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