We may have seen the last of midseason CBS comedy series Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher. CBS has quietly pulled the shows off the schedule as it is making a push for a freshman comedy series that got renewed for next season, Mom. Repeats of Mom will move into Friends With Better Lives‘ Monday 8:30 PM slot, where it will air next fall. For extra sampling, reruns of Mom also will air behind the biggest comedy series on television, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot for the next few weeks. Starting this week, fellow renewed freshman comedy The Millers, which will return to the Thursday 8:30 PM slot in the fall, will temporarily move to the 9:30 PM berth currently occupied by Bad Teacher, following Two And A Half Men. CBS has an available half-hour slot on Monday for the summer, with 2.5 Men reruns also airing at 9:30 PM there, following Mike & Molly. But the network seems to be going for a clean break from the just-finished season, opting not to continue with any of its cancelled comedies and focusing on the shows that are coming back. There are no plans at the moment for the remaining episodes of FWBL, which has aired 9 of its 13 produced episodes, or Bad Teacher, which has aired 5.
Related: Several Comedies Looking For New Homes
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As TBS announced today a sixth and final season for Cougar Town, several other comedies are attempting, like Cougar Town, to find a new home after being cancelled or passed over at the broadcast networks. I hear Warner Bros TV’s Suburgatory — which is three seasons into its run the way Cougar Town was when it was facing cancellation at ABC and moved to TBS — is exploring other options for the quirky comedy, cancelled on by Thursday by ABC, with sibling TBS among the possibilities. Similarly, I hear 20th Century Fox TV is determined to work hard on finding a new home for Friends With Better Lives, which was cancelled by CBS today after a short midseason run. 20th TV also is said to be shopping the Kevin Hart comedy pilot starring Romany Malco, which came very close to a series order at ABC. The network instead went with the ABC Studios’ produced Black-ish starring Anthony Anderson on Thursday, with the project’s showrunner Larry Wilmore announcing a day later that he would depart to host a show on Comedy Central.
After picking up five new drama series and two new comedy series yesterday — plus previously ordered straight-to-series Battle Creek — CBS proceeded with cancelling all of its freshman bubble shows. That includes fall comedy The Crazy Ones, which marked the TV return of Robin Williams; drama Hostages, and midseason entries Friends With Better Lives, Bad Teacher and Intelligence. That means that the only freshman CBS series to make it to Season 2 are comedies The Millers and Mom. Meanwhile, the only returning series still on the bubble, veteran The Mentalist, has been renewed.
Related: CBS’ ‘The Mentalist’ Renewed For Season 7
The demise of Intelligence and the long-forgotten Hostages was fully expected as neither made a mark in the Monday 10 PM time slot though there was some argument made about procedural Intelligence. Friends With Better Lives, which had been envisioned as a potential successor to How I Met Your Mother and launched behind the series finale of the long-running CBS comedy, had a shot at a renewal and had supporters at CBS. I hear producer 20th TV may shop it elsewhere. For Bad Teacher, the cancellation comes only three episodes into its run. The comedy, based on the hit movie, exceeded ratings expectations in its debut but dropped off in Episodes 2 and 3. Still, some thought CBS would wait until after the upfronts to make a decision on its future to give it more time. Read More »
TV critics tend not to like CBS comedies – even the ones not created by Chuck Lorre – when they first come on the scene, and only occasionally after they become ratings hits (see The Big Bang Theory), so it wasn’t entirely surprising when they lit into Friends With Better Lives during its Q&A at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.
Related: CBS’ Nina Tassler: “Pilot Season Is Not Perfect But Works For Us”
“In the pilot everybody seems pretty miserable,” one critic noted of the multi-cam ensemble comedy from Dana Klein, about a group of 30-something friends who each think the other has it better, that’s getting the plum post-How I Met Your Mother Finale premiere slot in March.
“Is this going to get somewhat friendlier — everyone seems very unhappy,” the critic reiterated. Klein explained there is no “right” better life – that working women envy stay-at-home moms and vice versa, and how, in the show, one week the better life might seem to be that of the single woman who dates, but the next week it might be the couple with kids. It was the press tour equivalent of tossing breadcrumbs to piranha. Read More »
From one set of friends to another. CBS will premiere new ensemble comedy Friends With Better Lives behind the series finale of How I Met Your Mother on March 31. Starting the following Monday, Friends With Better Lives will move to its regular Monday 8:30 PM slot, following a Big Bang Theory rerun until 2 Broke Girls takes over the 8 PM anchor position vacated by HIMYM on April 14. HIMYM will end its nine-season run with an hourlong finale almost two months before the end of the season, an unusually early exit for a series of this caliber, but CBS certainly needs the real estate. As previously announced, midseason CBS drama Intelligence will debut in the Monday 10 PM slot on January 13 after a preview behind NCIS on January 7. Here is CBS’ Monday schedule for March 31, April 7 and April 14: Read More »
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 … Read More »
Whitney co-star Zoe Lister Jones has landed the last lead in Dana Klein’s CBS comedy Friends With Better Lives, which is directed by James Burrows. The multi-camera project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, revolves around six 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. Jones will play one of them, the competitive and narcissistic Kate, who is super successful at work but a mess in her dating life. Jones, repped by WME and Karl Austen, is the latest Whitney cast member to book a pilot in second position
In his first TV role since Entourage, Kevin Connolly is set to co-star in Dana Klein’s CBS comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives, directed by James Burrows. The multi-camera project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, revolves around six 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. Connolly will play Bobby Lutz, a gynecologist who’s best friends with Will (James Van Der Beek).
Lyndon Smith (90210) has been added to the cast of ABC‘s drama pilot Reckless. Written by Chris Black and directed by Martin Campbell, the thriller centers on David (Patrick Fugit) a resourceful problem solver who, when his wife Sarah (Eloise Mumford) is unjustly imprisoned during a political uprising overseas, resorts to entering a world of political intrigue, dangerous alliances and high emotional stakes in order to get her out. Smith, repped by Main Title and Buchwald/Fortitude, will play Sarah’s sister Allie.
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Just Go With It and Battleship star Brooklyn Decker is set as a lead opposite James Van Der Beek in Dana Klein’s CBS comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives, which is directed by James Burrows. The multi-camera project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kaplan Entertainment, revolves around six 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. Decker will play one of them Jules, a former model who was discovered in a mall when she was 13. Very open minded, she sincerely wishes the best for everyone. Decker, a model herself, recently did an arc on FX’s The League and guest starred on Fox comedy New Girl, also produced by 20th TV. She is with Gersh and Authentic.
Don’t Trust The B— In Apt. 23 co-star James Van Der Beek has been tapped as a lead in Dana Klein’s CBS comedy pilot Friends With Better Lives, which is directed by James Burrows. The multi-camera project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kaplan Entertainment, revolves around six 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. Van Der Beek, repped by Paradigm and Brillstein Entertainment, will play one of them, Will, a sarcastic gynecologist who expects the absolute worst from everyone after his (soon-to-be) ex-wife’s infidelity.
Apt. 23 was Van Der Beek’s first major comedy series gig that followed his viral FunnyOrDie videos. He liked the experience and liked working with Apt. 23 producer 20th TV, which led to him signing on for another half-hour project with the studio. The Dawson’s Creek alum currently stars in the Geffen Playhouse’s production of The Gift and will next be seen in the Jason Reitman feature Labor Day. Van Der Beek is the second Apt. 23 cast member to book a pilot. Star Krysten Ritter toplines the NBC comedy Assistance.
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. Read More »