That comedy is "Cougar Town," the Courteney Cox sitcom about a now newly remarried fortysomething woman living in Florida with her friends and drinking plenty of wine, a fact TBS has turned into a visual motif in the ads. "A lot of shows have had weird lifespans," co-creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence said when asked about the shift to TBS, noting that the show would in its fourth season (premiering January 8) be pretty much the same, with "a little nudity." Co-star Busy Philipps echoed the claim that they were now able to do "a little bit edgier stuff." New showrunner Ric Swartzlander, taking over for Lawrence this season, added that TBS had told him when hiring him that "we don't want to see your fingerprints on this at all." Everyone on the panel expressed their pleasure at seeing their show actually being promoted on air.
Turner next offered up the unlikely line-up of "Revenge of the Nerds" stars Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, former NBC co-chair Ben Silverman, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and New Kid on the Block member turned actor Donnie Wahlberg, as well as Brandon Johnson, Rob LaPlante and Howard Schultz. They were there to promote four new unscripted series on the two networks, though the bulk of the attention went to "King of the Nerds," a TBS show premiering on January 17 that has contestants competing for the titular honor and a cash prize. Armstrong, who hosts the show with Carradine, was quick to point out that this was a "celebration of the nerd -- the idea is not to put down nerds," though a certain amount of confusion over the differences between geeks and nerds arose, with executive producer Silverman asking the crowd if they'd ever heard of "cosplay" and citing the coding competition scene in "The Social Network" as one of the show's big influences.
Alfred Molina, who plays administrator Harding Hooten, got in most of the best lines in the panel, noting that what attracted him to TV, "apart from the money, was great writing and a chance to legitimately chew some scenery." (He added that his character being English allowed him to "be sexually ambivalent as well" -- "There’s gay, there’s straight, and there’s British.") But it was Ving Rhames, who plays Jorge Villanueva, who got the last word when he slipped in at the end of the event that he was grateful TNT was "doing something on a level a bit above some of the Tyler Perry shows," which air on TBS. Snap.