James Van Der Beek, the well-known star of equally well-known dramas like Dawson’s Creek and Mercy, may have landed his first regular comedy series. Van Der Beek has been tapped to co-star in a new ABC sitcom pilot colorfully entitled Don’t Trust the B**ch in Apt. 23. Van Der Beek’s role, however, won’t require much research or method acting, as he will reportedly play himself in the project.
It isn’t yet clear just how central the one-time teen heartthrob will be to the series, which is based in New York City and largely focuses on June, played by The Good Wife’s Dreama Walker, who is described as an “earnest, honest, optimistic girl from the heartland” whose reality changes dramatically after moving in with “party girl Chloe.” According to Deadline, Chloe’s character, played by Krysten Ritter (Confessions of a Shopaholic), “has the morals of a pirate.” Initial reports suggest Van Der Beek will play Chloe’s best friend.
MTV, meanwhile, is already taking gentle jabs at Van Der Beek’s upcoming self-portrayal in the series, noting that since “he’s best known for a three-second, 10-year-old clip of him crying, it makes sense that James Van Der Beek’s next comedy gig is all about himself.” Interestingly enough, however, Van Der Beek’s role was initially created for another former teen heartthrob: Lance Bass of ‘N Sync fame. Van Der Beek’s arrival has prompted a complete rewrite of the role.
The 33-year-old Van Der Beek’s attempt at a comedy-laced, fictionalized version of himself is already drawing comparisons to Neil Patrick Harris in the Harold and Kumar movies, as well as Friends star Matt LeBlanc’s role in Episodes. Typically sought-after for dramatic television pilots, the newfound interest in Van Der Beek as a comedic actor is being widely attributed to the Dawson’s Creek star’s recent self-deprecating and utterly hilarious Funny or Die video contributions, which have enabled Van Der Beek to poke fun at his own Dawson’s Creek image.
Don’t Trust the B**ch in Apt. 23‘s pilot will be directed by Modern Family’s Jason Winer and produced by American Dad‘s Nahnatchka Khan. The show is potentially a major comeback effort for James Van Deer Beek that, unlike previous attempts at a post-Creek comeback, is generating a wider amount of generally positive buzz and curiosity among both television critics and viewing audiences.