Saved by Cable: 'Cougar Town' Moves to TBS From ABC

TBS Orders Fourth Season and Buys Rights to First Three

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As they say, one man's junk is another man's treasure. This seems to be the case for "Cougar Town," which was dumped by ABC, but officially renewed for season four on Thursday by TBS.

Courtney Cox on 'Cougar Town'
Courtney Cox on 'Cougar Town'

The sitcom, staring Courtney Cox, will join TBS's rotation of comedies, which include Tyler Perry series and syndicated reruns of "The Big Bang Theory."

TBS ordered a fourth season to begin in 2013 as well as the rights to the first three seasons.

On average, "Cougar Town" had been bringing in about 5 million viewers a week for ABC. Ratings took a hit after it was moved out of its Wednesday-night time slot, where it had lead into "Modern Family," into Tuesday nights.

In comparison, "The Big Bang Theory" on TBS draws about 3 million viewers per episode.

There have been several success stories with series moving from broadcast to cable. TBS's sibling TNT recently renewed "Southland" -- an NBC castoff -- for its fifth season, while "The Game" has been a ratings powerhouse for BET after it was pulled from The CW in May 2009.

"The Game" drew in more than 5 million viewers for its season premiere in January, which compares to an average of fewer than 2 million viewers an episode when it was on The CW. While "Southland" hasn't seen the same ratings success, it has allowed TNT to attract a younger audience.

Although "Cougar Town" is leaving ABC, ABC Studios will benefit from its new life on TBS. The show is produced, and will continue to be produced, by ABC Studios.

TBS has sometimes struggled to develop its own original comedies. "My Boys" and "The Bill Engvall Show" are among those efforts that really never caught on. But its pickup of CBS's "Big Bang Theory" has helped turn the network's ratings around and given a big boost to "Conan," which had a tougher first season on the network.

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