Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In its first major comedy buy this season, CBS has handed out a pilot production commitment to a multi-camera comedy from Bill Lawrence and Greg Malins. With its great pedigree, coming from Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Lawrence and former Friends and How I Met Your Mother executive producer Malins, the project became an instant hot commodity when it hit the market but I hear it went straight to CBS, which bought it on the spot. Lawrence and Malins will write together the untitled workplace comedy. (The two are keeping plot details under wraps.) Warner Bros. TV, where Lawrence and Malins are under overall deals, is producing with Lawrence’s Doozer production banner. Malins, Lawrence and Doozer president, former NBC head of comedy Jeff Ingold, are executive producing. Malins is slated to serve as showrunner. (Lawrence is running Cougar Town for one more season.) This marks the first sale for Lawrence since he moved from longtime home ABC Studios to WBTV in June with a rich, long-term deal. It also marks his return to the multi-camera genre where he co-created with Gary David Goldberg ABC’s hit Spin City before moving on to create the single-camera Scrubs and co-create with Kevin Biegel another single-camera comedy, ABC’s Cougar Town. Malins has been sought after for development this season. In addition to the comedy with Bill Lawrence, he is also expected to co-write an half-hour project with another WBTV-based top writer-producer, Greg Berlanti. It is yet to be taken out to the networks. Malins has strong ties to CBS. In addition to his stint as an executive producer on the CBS/20th TV How I Met Your Mother, Malins also serves as a consulting producer on the network’s hot new comedy series Two Broke Girls, from WBTV. Lawrence is with ICM, Malins with WME. Comedies continue to be red-hot this pitch season, commanding bigger commitments than their drama counterparts. Along with the Lawrence/Malins comedy, a Sony half-hour project produced by Will Gluck recently landed a pilot production commitment at NBC. And a new comedy project from Breaking In co-creator Adam F. Goldberg helped Sony secure a 13-episode renewal of the previously canceled Breaking In at Fox.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.