CBS has given pilot orders to 2 projects written and executive produced by power showrunner duos, which had put pilot commitments — Partners, from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, and an untitled half-hour from Greg Malins and Greg Berlanti. Both projects hails from Warner Bros. TV where the writer-producers are based. Additionally, the network has given the green light to Friend Me, also written by a team, Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, produced by CBS TV Studios.
Partners is a personal story of two lifelong friends and business partners. Architects Charlie and Louis’ friendship has lasted longer than either of their romantic relationships and almost seems like a weird marriage. When Charlie decides to propose to his girlfriend, Louis’ neurotic attempts to be supportive nearly result in the breakup of his own relationship. Described as a show about “4 people in 3 relationships”, the comedy reflects the real-life longtime friendship between Kohan, who is straight, and Mutchnick, who is gay. Because of that connection, the idea has been near and dear to their hearts. This the third time they are tackling it and the third time the project has gone to pilot. Its first incarnation was at CBS with a 2007 pilot starring Jay Mohr and Brian Austin Green and the second was at ABC with Alan Tudyk, Josh Cooke and Ty Burrell toplining a pilot in 2008. However, Kohan and Mutchnick, repped by Scott Schwartz, felt there were script, casting and other issues in both cases. The two had moved on when last year CBS approached them about revisiting the idea about a show based on their relationship but getting it right this time.
The untitled Malins/Berlanti project centers on Nick who has a health scare and realizes Wendy, his best friend and business partner of 15 years, is ‘the one’. Now he has to figure out how to break it to her. WME-repped Malins and Berlanti are the writers/executive producers. This marks the fourth pilot order for Berlanti this year. He also has dramas Guilty at Fox, Arrow at the CW and Golden Boy at CBS, which he is executive producing but not writing.
Friend Me, from CBS Studios and studio-based Tannenbaum Co., centers on twenty-something best friends, Evan and Rob, who move from their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana to Los Angeles to begin their exciting new lives working at Groupon. Evan is having trouble breaking his old slothful habits and rather than go out after work to explore LA and meet new people, prefers to play online poker with his buddies back home. Rob has different plans and is determined to drag Evan, kicking and screaming, along with him. Yes, Dear co-creator Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal are executive producing with Kim and Eric Tannenbaum.