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CBS dramedy pilot gives ‘Boys’ their say

Male-focused skein sparked bidding war with webs

In one of the first big buys of the 2006-07 development season, CBS has given a pilot commitment to a one-hour comedic drama from helmer Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) and scribe Lona Williams (“Drop Dead Gorgeous”).

Eye entertainment chief Nina Tassler snatched up the project, a male-focused tale of suburbia tentatively dubbed “The Boys,” after a bidding war among several webs, an insider familiar with the negotiations said. A significant penalty is attached if the project does not go forward to pilot.

Paramount Network Television has come on board to produce. Waters is attached to exec produce and direct, schedule permitting; Williams will write and exec produce.

“The Boys” will revolve around three 40-year-old men who used to be great childhood buddies. The friendship dissolved as their lives took separate paths, but the old bonds get restored when their respective children end up in the same elementary school.

In the vein of “Desperate Housewives,” it’s believed the show will focus on how the three male friends deal with their kids, their wives and each other.

In addition to “Mean Girls” and “Freaky Friday,” Waters recently became attached to helm and exec produce the long-in-the-works remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which is set to star Owen Wilson (Daily Variety, July 13). His next feature, the Reese Witherspoon-Mark Ruffalo romantic comedy “Just Like Heaven,” is slated for release later this year.

Williams’ small-screen credits include multiple seasons of “The Drew Carey Show,” where she ended her run as co-exec producer. She also did some dialogue work on the recent animated feature “Shark Tale.”

Both Waters and Williams are repped by CAA.

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