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Kelsey Grammer & Martin Lawrence FX Sitcom


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Martin Lawrence Talks with The New York Times about his upcoming sitcom: "Partners":

Your new FX series, “Partners,” stars you and Kelsey Grammer as mismatched lawyers working together. Had you ever met him before this project?

I first met Kelsey at a Christmas dinner over at Tim Allen’s house. We just met in passing and said hello. I had no idea we would ever work together, because we’re more of an odd couple. I never saw us together.

Have you found that television has changed since the ’90s, when you were making “Martin”?

Well, yeah, the demands are greater now. It’s not as easy to get on TV. Just to get ratings, it’s very hard. The paychecks are not the same anymore.

Do you think that “Martin” helped create opportunities for other black performers to get shows?

Maybe. I don’t know that it’s gotten better. I think we’re in a hole right now, and so whoever is working — black or white or whatever — there are many more people that ain’t working, that just don’t have a job, that are struggling, that are just trying to get their hustle on.

And even at your level, you’re feeling that? Can’t you just go take your fortune and live in the Hills?

I mean, if I had to just live in an apartment and, you know, drive a dune buggy, that would get me by. I don’t have to live in the Hills.

Given your history — you’ve been hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration, you were in a three-day coma in 1999 — did FX want a clean bill of health before hiring you?

They didn’t require that. They see me in every meeting. I was a standing bill of health. I run on a treadmill. I do weights. I get exercise at least three times a week. I play basketball at least two times a week.

When do you find time to make a show?

When they call, I’m there.

In your stand-up comedy film “Runteldat,” you tell a story of being confronted by the police while under the influence of a powerful substance you call “ooh-wee.” Do you ever regret being that candid about your life?

No, I don’t. I want my daughters to hear that story. I want every kid in the world to hear that story, so they know they have choices and not to make the same choices that I made. I have no problem with telling the truth.

There’s a lot of very blunt sex talk in your stand-up as well. Are you comfortable letting your daughters see that too?

I let my oldest watch it. I don’t let my two other daughters watch it. My oldest just watched my first stand-up film, “You So Crazy,” the other night.

What did she think?

She loved it. She said: “Daddy, I couldn’t believe it. Wow.” I told her, “I wanted you to see it because you have a boyfriend now, you’re getting ready to start college and these are things that you need to arm yourself for this world.” Daddy tells it like it is: rough and raw.

Have you made an effort to take it easier in recent years?

It was good for me to pull back and just not be so hard on myself and not think the world is out to get me. To grow up from that, it’s like a weight off my shoulder.

Did you really feel that the world was opposed to you, even when you were that successful?

You do, when things don’t go your way, when you see the stress of the world, the hatefulness of the world, the meanness. To see it from that level, I was like, Man, this is not what I thought it was.

What helped you reach a more positive frame of mind?

Going through the coma and getting arrested and things like that. Troubles that I had never gotten in before. That changed my life. All I wanted was to right the ship. But when you’re young growing up, you think you got it all figured out.

In “Runteldat,” you say, in effect, that people should ride life until the wheels fall off. Do you still feel that way today?

Yes, I do. Live life to its fullest, to its grandest, and ride it until the wheels fall off, man. You only get one.

Even in spite of everything you’ve been through?

I feel that way even more now after what I’ve been through.

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Another interview with Marty Mar.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. - If you combine Martin Lawrence's fan base and Kelsey Grammer's fan base, Partners could be the biggest show in the history of TV. It's simple math.

"In the best-case scenario, we would hope for that," Lawrence said with a laugh. "As long as we get enough to hopefully get five years with the people on TV, that would be good.

"His humour and my humour, if it's smart comedy, if it's understandable comedy, if it resonates with the people, it could be anybody's audience. He has a certain brand of comedy and a certain way that he does comedy. I would say he got the white audience and I got the black audience. But you put those two together ... you know it."

Partners debuts in Canada Aug. 7 on Global, which is three days after its debut in the US on channel-of-origin FX. Lawrence and Grammer star as Chicago lawyers from different backgrounds who form a partnership after meeting in court on the worst day of their lives.

Lawrence's Marcus Jackson is a community activist whose good works can't save his own marriage. Grammer's Allen Braddock is a hotshot who nonetheless manages to get himself fired from his father's firm.

"(Grammer's character) is for the money, he's about getting the money by any means necessary," Lawrence said. "I'm a morally grounded guy, I do pro bono cases, they cook for me and bring me food, things like that.

"As we mesh our two kinds of comedy together, our characters kind of teach each other. We try to find out what is the right way to be principled and correct, to do the right thing. And ultimately, it's all for our clients."

Hmmm, that sounds like a pitch from one of those ambulance-chasing lawyer teams that advertises on late-night TV. But since Lawrence's character is the do-gooder in this scenario, we'll take him at his word.

Partners is working on the same business model that Charlie Sheen's Anger Management had when it debuted in 2012. Specifically, 10 episodes will be made, and if those 10 episodes hit certain ratings goals on FX, it triggers a clause by which 90 more episodes will be made, guaranteeing a total of at least 100.

"I was involved with Lionsgate, they were interested in doing something with me," Lawrence said. "And then I got a call from Kelsey Grammer's people, and they said he had a nice little deal with Lionsgate and what did I think about hooking up with Kelsey to do a show. I said, 'Wow, that's a little different, we are the kind of odd couple here, that might be worth a try.' And once I met Kelsey, I was like, 'We could really make this work.'

"(The first scene together) probably was a little bit cold, feeling each other out or whatever. But Kelsey was so good off the top, man. Some people you could see from afar and think they're good, but it's different when you see somebody up close and you couldn't imagine they were that good. I knew he was good, I knew he was funny, but to work with him and see how truly talented he is, I didn't know all that."

While Grammer is best known for his TV work on Cheers, Frasier and Boss (not to mention being the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons), Lawrence hasn't been a regular on a TV show since Martin, which aired five seasons from 1992 to 1997. But in between then and now, Lawrence became a big-time bankable movie star, filling the multiplexes with Big Momma's House and its sequels.

"It's just the right time," said the 49-year-old Lawrence of his return to TV. "I was able to take some time off and spend it with my family. But everyone was still talking about the Martin show. It's still running (in syndication) and my family was like, 'Hey, we'd love to see you back in TV.' So I thought I'd give it a try. I love the response you get from TV. I love the fact that it's free TV for the people. They can tune in and see you for free.

"I do look at Kelsey and myself and think, 'Yeah, we're bringing people together, this is kind of big.' "

Like, biggest-show-ever big? Do the math, Martin Lawrence.

"You know what?" a smiling Lawrence said. "From your mouth to God's ears."

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i'll be watching august 4th! :clap:

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  • 1 month later...

I thought they had a five season deal?

According to this article:
FX has picked up 10 episodes of the untitled series which, in success, will be followed by a 90-episode back order.
Edited by Ale
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What article says that the show was cancelled? Although not as great as Martin or Cheers, I thought that Partners was a quality show, it don't deserve to be cancelled!

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What article says that the show was cancelled? Although not as great as Martin or Cheers, I thought that Partners was a quality show, it don't deserve to be cancelled!

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yeah, was just reading his post, i'm sad but those are the breaks...

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