'Cougar Town' cast (but not the show) returns to TV this week

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cougar-town-cast-boat.jpg "Cougar Town" the series won't be back on the air until (probably) early 2012. But the cast of "Cougar Town" will be gracing your TV screens again as soon as Thursday night (Oct. 13).

Members of the cast will pop up in cameos (or maybe just in the background) of a number of other series on ABC and elsewhere in the coming weeks. What co-creator Bill Lawrence is calling Project Find the "Cougar Town" Cast begins Thursday when Ian Gomez appears on "Grey's Anatomy." Courteney Cox and Christa Miller will also appear on Thursday's "Private Practice," USA Today reports.

Why? Because it's fun, and because it's a way to keep fans of the show engaged while it's off the air. You should also keep eyes peeled for "Cougar Town" cameos on "How I Met Your Mother" and a handful of other ABC series, both comedy and drama.

The show did a similar stunt last year along with NBC's "Community": Busy Philipps and Dan Byrd appeared in the background of "Community," and Danny Pudi -- whose "Community" character, Abed, is a big "Cougar Town" fan -- reciprocated.

On his Twitter feed, Lawrence also offered prizes for people who spot every cameo appearance, including "signed scripts, show stuff, a helicopter ..." (Note: maybe not an actual helicopter). Twitter hints on future cameos will come from Lawrence, co-creator Kevin Biegel, the "Cougar Town" writers and cast members Miller, Josh Hopkins and Philipps (along with her alter ego, Laurie Keller). 

Photo/Video credit: ABC