Cougars go from crass to cool on TV

Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:02pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Friends" star Courteney Cox says she has no problem starring in a TV comedy called "Cougar Town".

So does her endorsement make "cougar" -- the popular term for sexually aggressive older women on the hunt for younger men -- the new cool? American TV executives seem to think so.

After years of highlighting the charms of youthful sex kittens while sidelining older actresses, new TV shows like "Eastwick" and "The Good Wife" are showing that more than just one type of mature woman is at work -- and play -- in the world.

"You can use the label 'cougar,' but what is really happening is that TV is acknowledging this trend in society of women getting better as they age," said Todd Gold, managing editor of TV entertainment website

"Mainstream television no longer just focuses on the pretty 20 year-old," Gold said.

Leading the charge and dividing feminists is Cox, 45, who plays a recently divorced woman desperate for love in ABC television's new comedy series "Cougar Town."

"I think it's great to be a cougar, if that's what they are called," Cox told journalists recently of her most high-profile role since "Friends" ended its 10-year run in 2004.

"I was looking to do another comedy ... and it was just the perfect idea," Cox added, noting that her own husband, actor David Arquette, is seven years her junior.   Continued...

<p>Cast members Christa Miller, Busy Philipps and Courteney Cox Arquette (L-R) listen to a question about the show "Cougar Town" during the Disney and ABC Television Group panels at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, California August 8, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>