Courteney Cox Close to 'Cougar Town' Character

Cox plays an exaggerated version of herself in new sitcom "Cougar Town."

September 22, 2009, 5:28 PM

Sept. 23, 2009— -- Cougars, cougars, cougars are everywhere.

Not the large solitary wild cats who feast on elk and deer, but the older women who delight in younger men: Those cougars are in magazines, books, the Internet and the big and small screen, and they are about to proliferate even further.

Starting tonight, Courteney Cox, who could be considered a cougar in real life with husband David Arquette seven years her junior, will also play one on the small screen in the ABC sitcom "Cougar Town."

Just don't expect her to say the word.

"The word is definitely in the zeitgeist," "Cougar Town" executive producer Bill Lawrence told "To me it's just a word, a hooky title that tells you what the show is about. No one would have cared if we called it 'Forty and Single.' But we never use the term. It's more about Courteney as a single 40-year-old woman, pulled between younger and older friends, and trying to hold onto her dignity. She doesn't want to be one of those women we make fun of."

In "Cougar Town," Cox's character Jules Cobb, a divorced mom of a teenage son and successful real estate broker, looks down on her real estate rival, a desperate older woman with a thing for younger men. At the same time, she's eager to dive back into the dating world but is uncertain how.

"I'd date guys my own age but they're all dating younger girls," Jules says in tonight's season premiere.

"I think Courteney Cox is great at playing the comedy of discomfort," said Lawrence, who approached her with the sitcom after he heard through the grapevine that she was looking to do comedy again. "She's a fearless comedian."

That includes being unafraid to show less than perfect sides of herself. In the opening scene, she scrutinizes her naked body in the shower, squeezing her stomach, jiggling her arms and thighs and pinching her back.

No Body Double for Courteney Cox in 'Cougar Town'

Lawrence said executives and test audiences who saw the scene thought Cox used a body double. It's all her, he said, as is much of the character's personality.

"Courteney says what's on her mind," he said. "She sometimes doesn't have a filter. She's basically playing an exaggerated version of herself."