After closing a deal with Lionsgate Television that is remarkably similar to the one the network struck with Charlie Sheen's Anger Management series, FX has announced it has picked up the currently-untitled sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence.
Although the series has yet to find a suitable title, don't be surprised if an ampersand winds up factoring into it at some point, considering the brief synopsis released by the network clearly suggests this new series can easily be described as fitting into the buddy-comedy realm.
So far, we know the series takes place in Chicago – which will return Grammer (in the show, anyway) to his old Boss stomping grounds – and revolves around two lawyers from enormously dissimilar backgrounds who forge a bond and partnership after a chance meeting in court during "the worst day of their lives." From then on, the unlikely duo winds up working together, "to find the balance between the ethical and the unscrupulous in both their professional and personal lives."
Overall, the comedy sounds like it has the makings of a modern-day Odd Couple or any number of buddy comedies that have placed such wildly disparate characters in such close proximity to one another. But more importantly, the series' concept certainly seems to play to the actors' comedic strengths. Grammer, who is best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Dr. Frasier Crane in both Cheers and Frasier, has delivered great performances acting as the odd man out, of sorts – whether he was bringing his decidedly white-collar tastes to his mostly blue-collar buddies at a Boston bar, or dealing with the eccentricities of his family and co-workers in Seattle.
Meanwhile, even though Lawrence has spent a much of his career in starring roles like the '90s sitcom Martin or films like Big Momma's House and Black Knight, much of the comedy has come from playing off familiar buddy comedy tropes – as he did in Bad Boys I & II, as well as Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak and Life.
For his part, Lawrence had this to say:
“I am excited to be returning to TV and to be working with Kelsey. We have a great time together, so I am looking forward to making a good show with a lot of laughs.”
Of his new co-star, Grammer stated:
"Martin is arguably one of the funniest men alive and after some success in drama I thought it might be time to try my hand at comedy. I am thrilled to have this extraordinary team show me the ropes. All kidding aside, I don't think a better bunch of talent exists; I am honored and blessed."
In addition to starring, Grammer and Lawrence will also serve as producers on the series, while television veterans Bob Boyett and Robert Horn (whose past work includes Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, Living Single and Designing Women) will function as the series' writers and executive producers.
Perhaps most interesting is the 10/90 deal that FX struck with Lionsgate Television. According to the model, should the series meet or surpass certain fixed ratings expectations during its first 10 episodes, FX will then be obliged to order an additional 90. This means the network could find itself making a long-term commitment like it did with Anger Management. The goal of both deals, of course, is to attract lucrative syndication deals, as the series' episode count climbs.
As far as unlikely pairings go, the idea of Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence sharing the screen has to rank pretty high. But considering the actors' past success in the sitcom world, that improbable combination may turn out to be a very successful one.
Screen Rant will keep you updated with all the news on Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence's new sitcom, as it's made available.