May 12, 2013 3:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS Adds James Van Der Beek Comedy 'Friends With Better Lives'
CBS is adding even more comedies to its roster, picking up its fifth half-hour vehicle Sunday with a series order to Friends With Better Lives.
From Friends producer Dana Klein, the multicamera offering centers on a group of 30-something friends who each think the other has it better.
Entourage's Kevin Connolly, Apartment 23's James Van Der Beek and Battleship's Brooklyn Decker star in the 20th Television entry. Klein penned the pilot and executive produces along with Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan. James Burrows directed the pilot. Rick Donald, Zoe Lister Jones and Majandra Delfino round out the cast.
Friends With Better Lives marks CBS' third multicamera entry and fifth comedy overall after a year in which the first-place network failed to launch a new comedy. Rookie Partners, one of two series ordered last year, was yanked after only a handful of episodes with Friend Me failing to air. For Van Der Beek, the gig comes after ABC canceled Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23, on which he played a heightened version of himself for two seasons.
The bulk up in comedy comes as CBS is preparing to refill its comedy coffers following the conclusion of How I Met Your Mother, which will end its run after next year's ninth season.
The network previously ordered Chuck Lorre's Mom, Tony Shalhoub starrer We Are Men, Robin Williams-Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle Crazy Ones and Greg Garcia's Will Arnett entry The Millers.