Reports that “Cougar Town” co-creator Bill Lawrence is planning to change the show’s title can’t come as news to Dan Byrd, who plays Travis, Courteney Cox‘s TV son, on the hit ABC sitcom.
“We’ve been fighting an uphill battle with that since Day One,” he tells Zap2it. “The great thing about a name like ‘Cougar Town’ is that you hear it once and you remember it forever. It’s a very ‘loud’ title. But there’s a connotation to the word ‘cougar’ that means a lot of people are going to be turned off right away by the title alone without even giving the show a chance.”
The title fit — sort of — the original concept for the show, which was to follow Cox’s character meeting younger guys as she re-entered the dating world.
“But that became redundant fairly quickly,” Byrd says. “They were writing for the guest stars, for Courteney’s new boytoy of the week, rather than for the ensemble, so you couldn’t really see [the regular characters] together and explore that dynamic, so you stopped caring after a certain point. I think they realized pretty quickly that they had to find a way to incorporate everyone into this, and that was to take the ‘cougar’ element out of it and just show them as this dysfunctional family unit. That’s when the show finally found its footing and began to pick up a little bit.
“But there are still quite a few people out there who still think it’s about her going after younger guys. That’s unfortunate.”