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James Van Der Beek to Star in CBS Comedy 'Friends With Better Lives'

The former "Apartment 23" star will play a gloomy pessimist in the comedy from "Friends" writer Dana Klein.

James Van Der Beek - P 2013
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James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek has officially moved out of Apartment 23.

The former Dawson's Creek star has been tapped to star in CBS' Friends With Better Lives, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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The comedy pilot revolves around a group of thirtysomething friends who each thinks the other has it better. It hails from Friends writer-producer Dana Klein.

Van Der Beek -- who played a heightened version of himself in ABC's recently canceled Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 -- will portray Will Stokes, a partner in the gynecology practice at the center of the potential series. He's a smart, sarcastic and cynical guy who learns his wife cheated on him with his therapist who believes nice guys finish last. The gloomy pessimist is a creature of habit who expects the worst from everyone and everything.

The casting reunites Van Der Beek with 20th Television, the studio that also produced Apartment 23. Klein will write and exec produce alongside Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan with prolific director James Burrows on board to helm the pilot.

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Van Der Beek becomes the second Apartment 23 star to book a pilot following the January cancellation of the ABC comedy. His former co-star Krysten Ritter will star in NBC's Assistance adaptation

For the Paradigm, Brillstein Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman-repped actor, Friends With Better Lives marks his second comedy entry following his FunnyOrDie videos and guest gigs on CBS' How I Met Your Mother.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit