After nearly fifteen years, Martin Lawrence may be finally returning to television, as CBS has given a late-season order for a comedy pilot starring the famed comedian.
The currently untitled pilot, which will be written and executive produced by Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger ($#*! My Dad Says, How To Be A Gentleman) will see Lawrence portraying a widowed father of two teenagers who, after losing his job in construction, decides to become a police officer and enrolls himself into the police academy at the age 46.
While Lawrence has been off of television for well over a decade, CBS has been attempting to set up a new television series with Lawrence for almost a year. Last summer, it was reported that CBS was in deep negotiations with the Bad Boys star to develop two new comedy pilots. Recently, CBS tossed out both of the previous pilots and has given a pilot order for Lisbe and Reger’s yet untitled, multi-camera sitcom to move forward staring Lawrence.
Before becoming a big box office draw in the late-nineties, Lawrence was made famous by starring in one of the Fox network’s most successful live-action sitcoms, playing the titular character in Martin from 1992 until 1997. Martin went on to have a profitable run in syndication, but also marked the last of Lawrence’s major TV roles.
Recently, Martin Lawrence has been keeping active behind the scenes by producing two TV series, Love That Girl for TV One and 1st Amendment Stand Up for Starz. Lawrence’s last few film roles have produced mixed results. Last year’s Big Momma’s House threequel was the lowest-grossing of all the films in the franchise and was met with mostly negative reviews.
Overall, not much is known about Lawrence’s potential return to television. While Martin Lawrence fans may be excited to see him return to the small screen, the fact that it’s being written and produced by the duo that was involved in the critically-panned and now canceled CBS series $#*! My Dad Says and How To Be A Gentleman may dampen the excitement of seeing Lawrence return to television.
That being said, it’s still exciting to see Lawrence return to his sitcom roots. But with heavy-hitters like Tim Allen already back on the air in ABC’s Last Man Standing, and Roseanne almost certainly making it to air next year with her NBC pilot Downwardly Mobile, Lisbe and Reger are going to have to step up their game to make sure that CBS picks up their pilot to series.
…because Gina won’t be there to help this time.
Expect to hear CBS’ decision on the untitled Martin Lawrence pilot this May