It’s happy 42nd birhday to Courtney Cox’s character Jules on tonight’s episode of ‘Cougar Town’ on Sky Living - and also congratulations to Cox and co for turning the show around.

After a disappointing first half to its debut season, the show switched from being about a 40-something divorcee on the hunt for younger men, to a more ensemble sitcom about a bunch of boozy buddies.

Since then, the show’s found a new, improved groove and while it will never be as smart as ‘30 Rock’ or as on-the-money as ‘The Middle’, its ‘Scrubs’-like zeal and devotion to boozy bonhomie is quite endearing.

On our recent visit to the show’s Culver City Studios set in Los Angeles, Busy Philipps, who plays Laurie, said: ‘The comedy that comes from hanging out with people that you're very close with and that you love and you have tight relationships with is universal.

‘So the idea of a group of people, it's no different than Friends or, you know, the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ or ‘Cheers’ . . . You know, ‘Cheers’ is a very similar show where it was a group of people who like to drink, who hung out in a bar together.’