Laugh lines will show on this hot mom


Welcome to "Cougar Town." ABC has greenlighted a single-camera comedy pilot from "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence to star "Friends" alumna Courteney Cox.

Produced by ABC Studios and penned by Lawrence and "Scrubs" writer Kevin Biegel, "Cougar Town" centers on an attractive, newly single 40-year-old mom (Cox) with a 17-year-old son.

"Forty-year-old women on TV are so beautiful and perfect and wrinkle-free," said Lawrence, who first worked with Cox when he was a writer on "Friends." "People don't do the reality of it, and there is a real comedy area about a woman who is talking about Botox, about having sex with the lights on and how her body is changing."

Lawrence and Biegel had the idea for the show for a while, and Lawrence felt that Cox, whom he describes as "comedically fearless," would be perfect for the lead. After the actress guest-starred on the opening three episodes of the upcoming season of "Scrubs," he approached her.

Cox said she has been "a huge fan of Bill Lawrence and his comedic sensibilities" since "Friends" and that "after having such a great time with him on 'Scrubs,' it felt like the perfect fit."

Lawrence drew some of the inspiration for the show from his fortysomething wife, actress Christa Miller, who has been recurring on "Scrubs" and also might appear on "Cougar Town."

Lawrence and Cox, who both have deals at ABC Studios, will exec produce the pilot through their companies Doozer and Coquette, respectively. Production is slated to begin in early January for a possible midseason launch.

Lawrence is wrapping postproduction on the eighth season — and first on ABC — of "Scrubs," whose finale will mark the departure of star Zach Braff. Lawrence also is expected to relinquish day-to-day responsibilities on the show but will continue to be involved if ABC opts to extend the show's run.

In addition to "Cougar Time," Lawrence is shepherding "Beautiful People," a drama project for ABC/ABC Studios with writer Michael McDonald.

Cox recently starred on and exec produced the FX drama "Dirt," which was produced by ABC Studios.

Lawrence is repped by ICM, manager Howard West and attorney Jared Levine. Cox is repped by WMA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. (partialdiff)