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Community Producer: NBC Was 'Very Cool' About This Week's Cougar Town Lovefest

The Community-Cougar Town mutual admiration society was taken to a whole new level Thursday when NBC’s genre-bending sitcom once again broke convention and gave a shout-out — make that 12! — to its ABC counterpart. Which begs the question: How in the world did Community‘s Powers That Be get this cross-network lovefest past the Peacock bigwigs?

In case you missed it, this week’s episode showcased a subdued Abed (played by the incomparable Danny Pudi) relaying his personal journey through the world of Cougar Town fandom to Jeff (Joel McHale). The tale included name-dropping the series roughly a dozen times and even mentioning its star Courteney Cox by name. And this isn’t the first time the two programs have shown a little affection for the other. Abed declared his love for C.T. at least twice in the past, and C.T. has reciprocated.

Community executive producer Neil Goldman concedes that NBC expressed some concern about the number of Cougar Town references, “but Abed’s love of Cougar Town is something we’ve established and made perfect story-sense. So, as always, the network was very cool and supportive at the end of the day.” Adds series creator Dan Harmon: “Upon seeing the [script], an NBC exec said, ‘Do you guys know what you’re doing?’ We lied, he believed us. Best network ever.”

It’s worth noting that NBC allowed Office producers to build an entire episode around Gabe and Erin hosting a Glee viewing party earlier this season.

What do you guys think? Are you guys digging this Community-Cougar Town back-and-forth?

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39 Comments
  1. Laura says:

    I’m so loving the back and forth. I really enjoyed the Cougar Town references in this episode of Community(which was awesome). :)

  2. Loiter says:

    Interesting that you call it a lovefest as it probably came across to many viewers like they were making fun of Cougar Town.

    • Mags says:

      If you’re on twitter look up @kbeigel. He is a writer/producer for Cougartown. He loved the episode so much he wants to play at his funeral and talks about Abed being his favorite character on tv.

    • Alisa says:

      As an avid lover of Community, i can tell you they rarely make fun of anything they name drop. How many times has Community brought up Lost in the past two seasons? And yet they have Josh Holloway, a major player in Lost, come on to cameo for their finale. No. Community only name drops TV shows and movies they respect.

  3. Robert says:

    The guys behind both shows are genre-bending geeks, like myself! I think this is great. If you watch the shows, you’ll know that everything has always bended between meta and self-aware. It shows an intellectual time for television… and those of us who grew up as comic book nerds are taking over the world of TV!

  4. GinaRClark says:

    Tonight was the first time I ever watched “Community” and what a fantasic episode. Not only did the writers pay homage to Cougar Town, but wrapped a Pulp Fiction story inside My Dinner With Andre. BRAVO!

  5. Kate says:

    I loved it. I think it’s great that all the writers who have worked together on other shows support each other in their new ones. They have some hilarious banter on twitter as well. I’m hoping that on Cougartown they now start filling up Big Carl with “no no juice”!

    I love that on Community that even if I’m not familiar with the concept (like Dinner with Andre or D&D) I can still love the show. It was so wild to see Danny Pudi getting to play a normal character without all the quirks. You don’t realize how much goes into play Abed until he drops all of it.

  6. derp says:

    I loved this! About the back-and-forth, did Cougar Town ever referenced Community on the show or did they just acknowledge this?

    • Alisa says:

      Yes! I don’t honestly know which episode, but Travis’s girlfriend Kirsten mentions how on their date they spent the whole night watching Community S1 DVDs (and nine Emilio Estevez movies).

  7. Ben says:

    I actually think it’s kind of genius they’ve banded together since they are both under appreciated comedies on their respective networks. While ABC and NBC clearly respect them enough to renew them I don’t think either one gets the kind of promotion they deserve. It’s unfortunate because both really blossomed after their first few episodes. Once Cougartown ditched the desperate cougar angle and Community developed into an ensemble rather than a Joel McHale vehicle they both became Must See TV in my book!

  8. Marni says:

    I find it interesting that NBC was so supportive. When actor Aaron Refrem on ABC’s General Hospital got a pilot for NBC, ABC was willing to let him do it but NBC said no you have to leave GH in order to do this pilot. AND the pilot wasnt even picked up yet…and it never was. GH ended up replacing Aaron with another Aaron. I still miss the original! Well NBC does have a new head now so maybe thats why they changed their tune.

    • Meg says:

      I’m so not a fan of new Morgan. But he “went to camp” for a few weeks which is random considering it’s the middle of the school year. Maybe he’ll come back with a different actor or older.

  9. liza says:

    Well, wouldn’t it be in NBCs best interest ti keep courtney cox on their side so when she decides to sign on for a Friends reunion, they can say they supportednher show. Just my 2 cents.

  10. Sam says:

    ‘Community’ is a show where i get the feeling that the NBC has really given the creators and writers alot of freedom to be creative and tell their stories as the want to.
    This is the kind of show you can only find on NBC. (and no, i don’t work for NBC). Great great comedy. I still smile when i think of the ‘paintball’ and ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ episodes. Yea CT

  11. Ram510 says:

    I love the Community-Cougar Town tie ins. This episode got me so pumped for CT to come back in a few weeks. It makes me wonder what would CT be like if it were on NBC, it does seem to fit better there. I’m guessing Dan Harmon is a fan of CT. They should use his creative talent on CT for an episode.

  12. Eric Simon says:

    Please, please learn what “begging the question” means. I know that TVLine.com isn’t overflowing with integrity, but this level of ignorance is shameful. It’s as if a group of 12 year old girls made a site to talk about their fave shows.

  13. Eric Simon says:

    Please, please learn what “begging the question” means. I know that TVLine.com isn’t overflowing with integrity, but this level of ignorance is shameful. It’s as if a group of 12 year old girls decided to make a site so they could talk about their fave shows.

    • J says:

      To be fair, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone use it correctly. It’s unfortunately one of those phrases that was used incorrectly so much that the incorrect definition is probably what most people would give you.

  14. Mark says:

    For those of us who don’t watch Cougar Town, what are the Community references on that show?

    • Chance says:

      Jules’ (Cox) son Travis’s girlfriend Kirtsten mentioned their last date was watching the first season of Community.

  15. Sherry says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Danny Pudi as Abed was an actual extra in a scene of Cougar Town!

    • Wally says:

      Wouldn’t that be Danny Pudi as Abed playing Chad?

      You will really go down that rabbit hole if you start to think about all the layers of last night’s fantastic episode. It’s amazing how they were able to throw Cougar Town, Community, My Dinner with Andre and Pulp Fiction into one big pot and make something wonderful.

  16. max says:

    kool, kool kool kool kool.

  17. Amy says:

    What is the name of the song that played at the end of the eposode?

  18. John Berggren says:

    I love it. For too long on network TV they’ve represented worlds that are completely void of popular culture. These characters live in our world, so they should acknowledge it once in a while.

  19. Sterling says:

    Community and Cougartown are two of my favorite shows on television. They are very similar in the fact that they are centered around groups of quirky friends who have fun, and have flaws. I feel like shows are starting to understand how much viewers appreciate having off the wall yet relatable characters on TV.

    • Too Funny says:

      LOLWUT? Very similar, except that they are nothing alike. Do you even watch these shows? And theres the fact that one of them is hilarious, and the other is called Cougar Town. And they were definately making fun of it.

      • Jake says:

        I’m sure Too Funny that you would take that back if you had ever tried watching the show, which yes has an unfortunate title, but it is truly as hilarious as Community is. And it has nothing to do with Cougars. I agree with Sterling, the shows do have similar sensibilities in how nuanced and flawed the characters are and how far they are willing to go to be there for each other. I think the main reason they are so similar stems from their connections to Scrubs, as that was also a comedy with zany, quirky characters that had a lot of depth to them. And Community was not making fun of the show, as these shows have mutual respect for each other.

        • Matt says:

          Thanks Jake. I’m glad that someone at least attempted to put this moron in his place. I really enjoyed the fact that this post was created. And aside from a few ignorant, or in Too Funny’s case, Very ignorant posters, most of the comments here are great. Although, I think you were a little too passive in your remarks. Like the original poster stated (and for anyone who has actually watched even ONE episode of CT would know) these shows are Very much alike. I know I am just repeating what Sterling said, but they both center around a group of dysfunctional friends who are constantly getting into some for of mischief or another. And Both shows are Hilarious. Although the Main premise for each show has it’s unique distinctions, everything that Sterling and Most people have posted on here are completely true. And the sheer fact that Too Funny believes that they in ANY way have ever made fun of CT just proves that most of what makes Community great goes completely over his head. It’s such a shame when such great comedy is lost and wasted on people who don’t truly understand what is going on.

  20. ggny says:

    Any chance that Danny accutally shows up in the back round of a Cougar town scene? Now that would be amazing

  21. Sherry says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Danny Pudi as Abed was actually an extra on an episode of Cougar Town?

  22. bd says:

    I just wonder, if Danny Pudi is “incomparable” what adjectives do you use for actors like Ian McKellen and Meryl Streep, etc?

  23. Erik says:

    I downloaded a few episodes of Cougar Town because of this Community episode. I wasn’t disappointed, so I downloaded them all. It would be really cool if they actually put Danny Pudi in as an extra walking across the street at some point, to tie the story together! It would be cool, even though Abed supposedly made up the story.

  24. EmmaGray says:

    Bill Lawrence was asked if Abed/Chad was in a scene of Cougar Town but he said they had already wrapped filming and that no, he wasn’t in any background scenes. It’s okay, though, since Abed’s story was a lie/story anyway.

    Great storyline – and kudos to both NBC and ABC for the cross-pollination. :-)

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