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Posted at 7:26 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

ABC's 'Cougar Town' will rest so Matthew Perry can play

By Lisa de Moraes

ABC will take Courteney Cox comedy "Cougar Town" off the air on Feb. 9 in order to give its new Matthew Perry series, "Mr. Sunshine" its best comedy time slot - 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, immediately following hit "Modern Family."


Matthew Perry stars in "Mr. Sunshine" on ABC, starting in February. (ABC)

"Mr. Sunshine," in which Perry stars as a self-involved manager of a San Diego sports arena, and Alison Janney his highly erratic boss, will be hammocked between "Modern Family" and Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy") new medical drama, "Off the Map."

This schedule sticks through April 6; "Cougar Town" will return to its time slot the following week. But instead of being followed by "Off the Map" at 10 - or any other drama series, for that matter, ABC will debut yet another new comedy, "Happy Endings" and pair it up with "Modern Family" reruns.


New comedy "Happy Endings" premieres in April. (ABC)

"Happy Endings" is about a "perfect couple - played by Elisha Cuthbert who played Jack Bauer's daughter on "24" (remember Spawn?) and Zach Knighton - who break up on their wedding day, causing their one-of-this/one-of-that friends and family members to re-evaluate their lives. They include: a suburban housewife married to buttoned-up guy sister, a gay friend, a still-single-with-clock-ticking chick pal, etc.

That makes ABC the second network to try out two comedies in a 10 o'clock hour. Back in November, NBC announced it would move "30 Rock" and "Outsourced" into its 10 o'clock hour on Thursday nights, starting Jan. 20.

TV stations don't much like having two half-hour comedies in the 10 o'clock hour, because it's the lead-in to their late local newscast. Having two comedies in the hour, they reason, just gives viewers the chance to turn off the TV - or switch to another network - at 10:30 p.m.

By Lisa de Moraes  | December 6, 2010; 7:26 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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