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?