Cougar Town not only has a new network, it has a new showrunner to match.
Ric Swartzlander (Gary Unmarried) has signed on as an executive producer and will oversee the cul-de-sac comedy in its fourth season — and first on TBS. The news comes on the heels of series co-creator/exec producer Bill Lawrence’s confirmation that he and co-creator Kevin Biegel were no longer planning to run the series, which aired for three seasons on ABC. Lawrence, who’s married to Cougar Town star Christa Miller, assured fans on Twitter last week that he and Biegel weren’t fully letting go of their Big Carls, quipping: “My wife is on the show — you think she’ll let me disappear? Please.” Lawrence will serve as an executive producer and executive consultant on Cougar Town while developing new projects for Warner Bros. TV, with whom he signed a deal last year. Biegel will act as consulting producer. Swartzlander’s other credits include Samantha Who? and 8 Simple Rules.
TBS, which signed a deal two weeks ago to acquire the low-rated cult favorite from ABC Studios, will debut the show’s 15-episode fourth season in early 2013, and holds an option for a fifth season of 15 episodes as well. The network also bought the rights to rerun the show’s first three seasons. “At best we could have hung on [at ABC], like the way you hang on to the side of a cliff, and hopefully get to a certain number of episodes,” Lawrence told EW last week. “Now we’re going to get a shot on a different playing field at being a company’s flagship comedy.”