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Martin Lawrence May Return to Series Television on CBS

Martin Lawrence.

Nearly fifteen years after leaving the small screen, Bad Boys and Big Momma's House star Martin Lawrence is eyeing a TV comeback. Vulture has learned that CBS is deep into negotiations on a deal with Lawrence that would have the actor star in and executive produce his own comedy series for the network, whose sister studio CBS Television Studios would produce. There's no word yet on a writer for the project. Usually, talent-holding deals like the one Lawrence is close to signing result in several writers pitching possible projects for the actor, with the talent, network, and studio all ultimately deciding to move forward with one idea.

Before becoming a major late-nineties box office draw, Lawrence starred in one of the Fox network's earliest live-action sitcom successes, playing the titular role in more than 130 episodes of Martin from 1992 until 1997. (Sheneneh, "Damn, Gina!" etc.) The show went on to have a successful and profitable run in syndication. Assuming the Lawrence deal results in a series — most likely during the 2012-13 season — Lawrence would add diversity to a network-TV comedy landscape which currently boasts few African-American actors as the central focus of a sitcom. As long as Lawrence stays out of drag for his CBS series, his return to TV could be a good thing.