It’s not often that you hear a TV show character tout a show on a different network. It’s happened several times this season on ABC’s “Cougar Town” and NBC’s “Community,” though, and at least one more expression of cross-network love is coming.
“Cougar Town” co-creator Bill Lawrence tells Zap2it that his show’s season finale contains a “solid ‘Community’ shout-out,” presumably coming from Travis (Dan Byrd), who has expressed his love for the series in the past.
“We’ve kind of been cross-promoting each other since the beginning of the year. They have Abed [Danny Pudi] liking ‘Cougar Town,’ and we have Travis loving ‘Community,'” Lawrence says. “I don’t know if anyone’s done that sort of cross-promotion between two shows on different networks before.” (Lawrence’s previous series, “Scrubs,” name-checked several of its contemporaries, from “House” to “Gilmore Girls,” but it was more of a one-way love affair.)
Lawrence is genuinely a fan of “Community” — “I loved it,” he says of that show’s most recent “Cougar Town” mention in the episode “Critical Film Studies.” He also knew it was coming, thanks to some former colleagues.
“People — even executives, not just fans — will go, ‘Can you believe what they said on “Community”? Were you so shocked?'” he says. “Nobody’s bothered to check that two of the executive producers on ‘Community'” — Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan — “were ‘Scrubs’ executive producers. We all know what each other is going to do weeks before we do it. …
“It’s part of the fun for us. I think we just keep it quiet because we all fear getting in trouble at the end.”
“Community” returns to ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET Monday (April 18) before heading back to its regular home at 9:30 Wednesday; “Community” airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays on NBC.