EXCLUSIVE: CBS is adding some estrogen to midseason buddy comedy Friend Me with the introduction of a new regular female character to be played by Amanda Lund. Created by Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, Friend Me is about two twentysomething best friends who just moved from Indiana to Los Angeles to start cool new jobs. Rob (Nicholas Braun) is eager to embrace the L.A. scene and meet new people, while Evan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) prefers to socialize online at home in his underwear, web-chatting and playing poker with his Hoosier buddies Mike (Parveesh Cheena), Sully and Farhad (Dan Ahdoot). In what is considered the female lead on the ensemble, Lund will play the upbeat and often socially awkward Amanda Baxter, new to Los Angeles, alone after a break-up, and eager to move on with her life. Working for a caterer with dreams one day to be a chef, she finds the first friends of her new life in her neighbors Rob and Evan.
2ND UPDATE 5:30 PM: This is a mini-shocker. Word is that CBS is passing on the Nick Stoller comedy pilot ENTRY LEVEL. There has always been concern whether CBS would schedule a single-camera comedy in its blocks of all-multi-camera sitcoms but the network had expressed commitment to the genre. However, while Entry Level was received well and was an early frontrunner, it looks like CBS will again stick to all-multi-camera comedies next season. I also hear that APPLEBAUM is now dead too, along with Oh Fk, It’s You. That leaves only Elementary, Ralph Lamb, Baby Big Shot, Golden Boy, Friend Me, Partners and possibly Martin Lawrence in contention. UPDATE 9PM: I’ve confirmed that the Marin Lawrence comedy is not going forward, so here you have it: ELEMENTARY, RALPH LAMB, BABY BIG SHOT, GOLDEN BOY, FRIEND ME and PARTNERS appear to be CBS’ picks for next season.
PREVIOUS SATURDAY AM: Rumors are flying that most of the other CBS pilots are dead, including TROOPER, WIDOW DETECTIVE, DORF/FALCONE and SUPER FUN NIGHT. Information on OH FK, IT’S YOU has been conflicting, with some saying it’s dead and others suggesting that could still be a possibility for midseason.
PREVIOUS FRIDAY PM: And we’re down to the last network that is yet to pick up its new and returning series for next season — CBS. As usual, the Fort Knox of networks this time a year is keeping things close to …
EXCLUSIVE: In his first major TV gig, Super Bad co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse has been tapped as one of the two leads of CBS’ comedy pilot Friend Me. Written by Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, Friend Me centers on twenty-something best friends, Evan (Mintz-Plasse) and Rob (Nicholas Braun), who move from their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana to Los Angeles to begin their exciting new lives working at Groupon. Mintz-Plasse, repped by UTA and Principato-Young, was an early choice for the role in the project, produced by CBS Studios and the Tannenbaum Co. He is currently filming CBS Films’ comedy Get A Job where he coincidentally co-stars alongside Braun. Mintz-Plasse’s only previous TV credit was a guest spot on Starz’s Party Down. On the feature side, the actor, best known for his breakout role as Fogell/McLovin in Super Bad, also co-starred in Role Models, Kick-Ass, How To Trail Your Dragon and Fright Night and has the animated ParaNorman and How To Train Your Dragon 2 coming up.
Veteran multi-camera directors James Burrows and Pamela Fryman, always sought after for pilots, have booked two pilots each after each fielded several offers. Mike & Molly director/executive producer Burrows will direct two CBS comedies: the untitled Greg Malins/Greg Berlanti project, which just cast JoAnna Garcia Swisher as the the female lead, and Max Mutchnick and David Kohan’s Partners. Both pilots hail from Warner Bros TV, where Emmy-winner Burrows is based. The Malins/Berlanti project centers on Nick, who has a health scare and realizes that Wendy (Garcia Swisher), his best friend and business partner of 15 years, is “the one”. Now he has to figure out how to break it to her. Mutchnick and Kohan’s Partners is a personal story of two lifelong friends and business partners — one straight and one gay. This is the latest collaboration between Burrows and Mutchnick/Kohan; ICM-repped Burrows has directed most of the duo’s pilots going back to their NBC hit Will & Grace.