Courteney Cox and Fellow Cougars Cut Down by ABC

Are Courteney Cox and her co-stars in Cougar Town losing their appeal to TV viewers? That’s the question being posed by fans of the show after ABC ordered a reduced number of episodes for the third season of the sitcom.

Whereas the first season of Cougar Town saw 24 episodes aired, the second season spawned only 22. Now, for the third season, only 15 episodes have been ordered, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The network’s midseason schedule was released Friday, and Cougar Town was conspicuously absent. Panicky fans immediately began to speculate the comedy had been axed, but ABC soothed their concerns, tweeting:

“Don’t worry #CougarTown fans, the show is coming back next year…we just don’t have the date yet!”

So why the brutal slashing of so many episodes? Industry experts speaking to Entertainment Weekly have suggested the smaller order is more a reflection of ABC juggling their content, rather than a statement about the quality of the show or viewing figures.

Indeed, the viewing figures have held up very well for the Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel-created sitcom – the first two seasons both averaged 7.34 million views per episode. And of course, it’s very plausible ABC is simply making more room for new shows – Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and Krysten Ritter’s Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23 both appear for the first time in its new midseason schedule.

Any fans of Cougar Town feeling particularly aggrieved about ABC’s decision to cut down its intake of the show?