Broadcast television is a notoriously tough place to work. One of the most difficult parts about going network is that getting a show on the air and creating a sustainable premise that can lead you to the syndication promised land are two very different things. Cougar Town had no trouble getting on the air. An ex-Friend plus a zeitgeist-y title equals a no-brainer executive green light. The problem is that watching a woman chase after younger men quickly becomes repetitive, tacky, and even a little sad.

Before the end of season one, Cougar Town was evolving into a show that could sustain itself over the long haul. It wasn't going to be about cougars on the prowl, but rather about that point in life when some nights you'd rather just stay in your den and drink a box of wine. As time went on, Cougar Town eased its way into something comfortable and durable—almost a middle-aged version of Friends. Though the show in its later form probably would never have been picked up by a network as a pilot, it was something that people not only wanted to watch, but deeply connected with.