FX has closed a deal with Lionsgate Television and Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury for the new untitled sitcom starring Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer, it was announced today by Chuck Saftler, President of Program Strategy and COO, FX Networks, via press release.
You'll recall March's announcement that both Lawrence and Grammer were to co-star in and co-produce a comedy backed by Lionsgate, which was described as a buddy series with an Odd Couple feel - the 1970s ABC series that starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman as 2 men with different lifestyles who share a Manhattan apartment, and all the conflict and laughs between them.
We now have a proper description of the project. Lawrence and Grammer will play two Chicago lawyers from vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court on the worst day of their lives. Brought together by fate and greed, they develop a partnership and friendship, forcing each other to find the balance between the ethical and the unscrupulous in both their professional and personal lives.
Bob Boyett and Robert Horn are writing and executive producing.
Previous credits for Boyett and Horn include hits like Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, Living Single and Designing Women.
FX has ordered 10 episodes of the sitcom and, if the series does well, over its first 10-episode run, the network will order an additional 90 episodes.
As I said before, I think Martin and Grammer are an intriguing, if unlikely pairing. Both are free since Kelsey Grammer's Starz drama Boss was canceled last fall after 2 seasons, and Martin Lawrence's CBS pilot wasn't picked up last year.
But if anyone had told me that they'd be getting together to star in a comedy series, I probably wouldn't have believed it without hardcore evidence.
While comparisons to the Odd Couple, as well as Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, have been made, the Grammer/Lawrence series is an improbable enough pairing that whatever they cook up should stand entirely on its own.