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James Van Der Beek On ‘Friends With Better Lives’: It’s The ‘Friends’ For This Generation

This morning we chatted with one of the stars of the new CBS sitcom that’s making a splash on Monday nights. James Van Der Beek called in to talk about his new show, Friends With Better Lives, that sees him straying away from his comfort zone in dramas to take on a comedic role.

Friends With Better Lives is a romantic comedy about six friends at different stages in their lives – married, divorced, newly engaged and single – who are outwardly happy, but secretly questioning if their friends have it better. James stars as Will on the show alongside an all-star cast featuring Kevin Connolly (Bobby), Majandra Delfino (Andi), Zoe Lister-Jones (Kate), Brooklyn Decker (Jules) and Rick Donald (Lowell).

While it certainly has a similar concept and name as another beloved TV comedy, James tells us that Friends With Better Lives is not just another cookie-cutter copy of Friends.

“Mimic is a dirty word, I like to say pay tribute,” said James. “This is definitely, in its absolute best incarnation, our shot at ‘Friends’ for this generation.”

Best known for his breakout role on the hit teen-drama Dawson’s Creek, James tells us about the biggest difference he’s seen between acting in a sitcom vs. a TV drama.

“Well it’s certainly a lot more fun to laugh all day than to cry all day,” he explained. “So I’m having a lot of fun right now. Drama was what I started out doing in New York, so I’ll always return to that. As far as a nine to five job…it’s a lot more fun to do comedy.”

The second episode of Friends With Better Lives airs tonight at 8:30pm on CBS 2. Listen to our full web-exclusive conversation with James below!

James Van Der Beek

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