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Q&A: TV Showrunner Bill Lawrence Talks ‘Undateable,’ Wine and Lost Souls

Bill Lawrence still has plenty of boyish charm, but he’s become one of the elder statesmen of the sitcom biz, in recent years juggling three or more shows at a time through his Warner Bros. TV-based Doozer Prods. As NBC’s “Undateable” approaches its May 29 premiere, joining “Cougar Town” and “Ground Floor” on his active roster, the showrunner who cut his teeth on “Spin City” and “Scrubs” talks about mentoring a new generation, wine consumption and lost souls.

Why so many shows from your company all at once?

I’ve reached a point in my career that the most satisfying thing is to get other talented writers through the system. Also, they are younger than I am, so they still have souls. I need that in my life.

What makes a man “undateable”?

The idea behind this show is that due to insecurity, wardrobe choices, job situation, your “look” — see my peroxide-blond stage — every guy and girl goes through an “undateable” stage. Most people get out of it. These folks are stuck.

How is your job different when you are an exec producer/godfather vs. the creator of a show?

Same job, but if the show is really good, it’s because of the young, talented creator(s) behind it. If it fails, it’s most likely my fault.

What’s the show you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t?

I’m ready to do a darker, personal cable show, and am working on one now.

How much wine will “Cougar Town” residents consume in the upcoming final season? More white than red?

The “Cougar Town” cast has already started consuming wine. All flavors.

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