Cougar Town returning early with nationwide viewing parties

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Like Parks & Recreation before it, ABC's Cougar Town was given a brief hiatus at the end of its second season, disappointing fans who had recognized the promise of the terribly named show and watched as it became one of the best sitcoms on TV. (I believe this move was to make room for a series so awful I have completely blocked it out of my memory. Was it Man Up? I have a feeling it could have been Man Up.) While the network seemed committed to bringing the show back mid season, as of this moment there is still no definite return date — meaning a lot of anxious waiting before people could catch up with the Cul-de-sac Crew.

But it turns out that if you live in certain cities across the U.S. (or you're willing to travel for the show that you love), you may get a chance to see TV's most endearing alcoholics as soon as December 27. Via Variety:

[Bill] Lawrence and fellow producer Kevin Biegel are orchestrating a series of screenings of new episodes around the country that will begin Dec. 27 in Atlanta, Louisville, Ken. and Sarasota, Fla. There will be at least one regular cast member and writer at every venue, and prizes will also be handed out. More screenings will be announced in other cities in January.

The other parties, which Lawrence will announce on Friday, will take place in cities like LA, New York, Philadelphia, and Austin. (To stay abreast of such things, you can follow Lawrence on Twitter.) As Lawrence points out, these aren't ABC-sponsored events — simply an attempt to get some buzz going and hopefully prompt the network to give the show a damn premiere date. Be cool about this, ABC. Otherwise people might start sending you red wine in the mail a la Jericho's peanut protest, and that could get pretty messy for everyone involved.