Busy Philipps won’t be waking up Thursday morning with visions of Golden Globe nominations for herself or her fellow Cougar Town cast members dancing in her head. “That’s not going to happen now. No one’s seen the show this season,” says Philipps, lamenting the fact that ABC has not only failed to find a spot for the hilarious ensemble comedy on its 2012 schedule, but also reduced its Season 3 episode order from 22 to 15.
Philipps says the Cougar Town cast has already shot 10 of those episodes, and that the show’s writers may have to cut back a storyline focusing on a new love interest for Laurie. “The writers have amazing stuff planned out for this season, and now they’re going to have to condense,” she says. “I feel bad for them. I feel bad for everyone. It’s a bummer. It sucks.”
The good news, though, says Philipps, is that Season 3 contains “some of the funniest work we’ve done since the beginning of the show. I’ve seen a couple of the episodes. The one Courteney [Cox] directed came out incredible.”
Plus, teases Philipps, there’s a new addition to the cast with major breakout potential: Briga Heelan, who’s been cast as the very young woman Grayson (unwittingly) impregnated years ago. “[Briga] is threateningly funny. She’s so good! She’s going to be a huge star,” Philipps predicts. “You heard it from me first.”
What’s more, while Laurie will indeed embark on a new romance with a military man who’s stuck in the Middle East — read more about how that relationship will work in this week’s Ask Ausiello! – the show will also address her burgeoning romantic feelings with Travis. “There’s a really good episode toward the beginning of the season where the two of us discuss our relationship a little bit,” Philipps explains. “It’s funny and sweet.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)