CBS has given a series order to multi-camera comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives, which I hear CBS topper Les Moonves, who developed Friends back in his Warner Bros. days, had been hailing as a potential new incarnation of the blockbuster NBC comedy. With its setup as a young ensemble, Friends With Better Lives could certainly become a successor to CBS’ departing comedy How I Met Your Mother. Written by Dana Klein and directed by James Burrows, Friends With Better Lives revolves around a group of 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. I hear the series pickup deal came after 48 hours of intense negotiations, spearheaded by executive producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. He is exec producing Friends with Klein for 20th Century Fox TV. The ensemble cast includes James Van Der Beek, Brooklyn Decker, Rick Donald, Kevin Connolly, Zoe Lister Jones, Majandra Delfino. Friends With Better Lives was one of two CBS comedy pilots at the network still in contention. I hear the other, Bad Teacher, is still a possibility for midseason. CBS’ current tally of new comedy series stands at five — Friends and Crazy Ones, We Are Men, The Millers and Mom. That is more than double what CBS ordered on the comedy side last May and the most comedy orders at the network in a long time.
James Cromwell (American Horror Story) will co-star opposite Hannah Ware in ABC‘s drama pilot Betrayal. Written by David Zabel based on a Dutch series and directed by Patty Jenkins, Betrayal centers on Sara (Ware), a beautiful but unhappily married female photographer who begins a torrid affair with Jack, a lawyer for a powerful family. Cromwell plays Terence Karsten, the head of the powerful Chicago family.
CBS has given the long-rumored pilot order to Beverly Hills Cop. The network also has ordered to pilot drama Backstrom, from Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson, and comedy Friends With Better Lives, from writer Dana Klein and producer Aaron Kaplan.
Beverly Hills Cop, which had a pilot production commitment and had already cast Brandon T. Jackson as the lead, is a continuation of the movie franchise centered around Axel Foley’s police officer son, played by Jackson, who takes down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. The films’ star Eddie Murphy is set to appear in the pilot and will executive produce with Shawn Ryan, who wrote the script, as well as Ryan’s producing partner Marney Hochman.