FX Acquires New Untitled Sitcom Starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 19th, 2013

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via press release:

 

FX ACQUIRES NEW UNTITLED SITCOM STARRING KELSEY GRAMMER AND MARTIN LAWRENCE

 

Closes 10/90 Deal with Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury

 

Los Angeles, June 19, 2013 —FX has closed a 10/90 deal with Lionsgate Television and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury for the new untitled sitcom starring comedy legends Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer, it was announced today by Chuck Saftler, President of Program Strategy and COO, FX Networks.

 

Prolific comedy veterans Bob Boyett and Robert Horn, whose half-hour credits collectively include Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, Living Single and Designing Women, will executive produce and write the Lionsgate Television-produced show.  Executive producers also include Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence, Brian Sher, Stella Bulochnikov, Michael Green and Sam Maydew.

 

The new sitcom marks the much-anticipated return to television of both Lawrence and Grammer, who 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.

 

“With the merging of two comedic geniuses, as well as two legendary showrunners, we couldn’t have a stronger team on board for this show and can’t wait to get to work,” said Saftler.  “We’re also thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the pros at Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury.”

 

“I am excited to be returning to TV and to be working with Kelsey,” said Lawrence. “We have a great time together so I am looking forward to making a good show with a lot of laughs.”

 

Grammer said, "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."

 

The series will be produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Grammnet NH Productions and You Go Boy Productions.

 

“Pair two great actors and comedy legends with the executive producing team behind some of the most memorable sitcoms ever, mix in the outstanding team at FX and you have all of the ingredients for another TV classic,” commented Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein. “Our 10/90 model is all about delivering brand names and concepts that will grab viewers instantly, having incredible creative auspices and a very supportive network. This sitcom surpasses our criteria on virtually every level.”

 

FX has ordered 10 episodes of the sitcom and, as is standard with the 10/90 model, if the series meets designated ratings thresholds over its first 10-episode run, the network will trigger an additional 90-episode order.

 

Lionsgate Television Group President Kevin Beggs added, “There was an immediate rapport between Kelsey and Martin from their very first meeting, and when Bob and Robert joined as showrunners, all the stars aligned in a very exciting way.  We’re delighted that FX recognized the tremendous potential for this series and look forward to another great collaboration.”

 

The 10/90 model is a unique syndication model crafted by Debmar-Mercury for multiple sitcoms, including FX’s Anger Management and the upcoming George Lopez series Saint George, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns, and Revolution’s and Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet? The Martin-Grammer sitcom will air exclusively on FX until the off-network episodes start airing in broadcast syndication in fall 2017.

 

Five-time Emmy® Award winner Kelsey Grammer’s celebrated career as a stage, film and television actor includes five Emmys, two Golden Globes®, a SAG Award and dozens of nominations for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist “Dr. Frasier Crane” in the hit comedies Cheers and Frasier.  He earned his third Golden Globe for Best Actor for his starring role in Lionsgate’s acclaimed drama series Boss, for which he also served as executive producer.  He is currently filming Transformers 4, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Michael Bay.  Other film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and Swing Vote.  Under his Grammnet banner, he has enjoyed great success as a television producer, executive producer and director, with credits including such hit television series as the Emmy-winning Medium, The Game and Girlfriends.

 

Actor-comedian-producer Martin Lawrence, most famous for his starring roles in Bad Boys and Bad Boys II and the hugely successful Big Momma’s House trilogy, has had starring roles in numerous other films including Blue Streak, National Security, Do the Right Thing, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, House Party  and House Party 2, Boomerang, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (which he also co-wrote and directed), Nothing to Lose, Life, What's the Worst That Could Happen?, and Black Knight. He also co-created, executive produced and starred in the hit sitcom Martin, which ran from 1992 to 1997, earned three NAACP Image Awards and was an enormous success for the FOX network.

 

About FX

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in 98 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series, including Sons Of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans, and the upcoming drama series The Bridge (July 2013); the miniseries American Horror Story: Coven; and the acclaimed hit comedy series Louie, Archer and  Wilfred. The network’s library of acquired box-office hit movies is unmatched by any ad-supported television network. FX's roster of acquired hit series includes Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly.

 

About Debmar-Mercury

Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes for daytime television The Wendy Williams Show and has U.S. distribution rights to Fremantle Media North America’s Family Feud; distributes Tyler Perry sitcoms House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns, Lionsgate Television’s Anger Management (starring Charlie Sheen and entering off-network syndication in September 2014) and Saint George (starring and co-created by George Lopez, debuting in fall 2014 and in off-network syndication in September 2016), both for FX; Revolution/CubeVision’s Are We There Yet? (starring Ice Cube); and has U.S. TV distribution rights to South Park, Hell’s Kitchen and a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios.  Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company.

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales.  The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets.  Lionsgate currently has 26 shows on 19 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, the new comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses.  The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

 

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  • MG

    Yes Martin is back on tv

  • Shepherd

    I would have thought FX learned their lesson on the 10/90 model.

    That being said, as much as I don’t like sitcoms, I will definitely be checking this out. Martin and Fraiser Esquire; how can you go wrong?!

  • fd98

    Has potential. I will give it a shot. Can’t be worse than Anger Management, right?

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    FRASIER!!!

  • mike

    I dont know.

  • Jay

    I’ve yet to see any 10/90 sitcom that’s even remotely funny. Does it have to do with the actual model or is it just a coincidence? Who knows…

  • The End

    I don’t see why FX wants to waste $200+ million on these projects, especially when they could fund a show with a modest budget for several seasons with the same amount of money. You could get 3-4 seasons of Game of Thrones for the same money these comedys are costing FX lol

    Someone over at FX who is deciding these projects are a good idea needs firing. Because as said, if you have THAT much money to burn, there are plenty of decent pilots out there, or even shows that need rescuing that would draw higher numbers.

  • The End

    Well I guess its not really entirely FX funded, Lionsgate are silly. That’s all I’m saying lol

  • DenverDean

    Are they going after the Blue Bloods audience with that casting? Good grief. I just don’t under why FX would go this direction.

  • KJ Styles

    SMH at all the negative comments. I love Martin and Kelsey personally. I don’t think this show will be as good as the legendary shows they had in the 90′s, but if it’s even half as good this will be worth watching.

  • Oliver

    @Jay
    It’s the model. Hard to make a good show when you’re writing and filming 2 episodes/wk. Honestly, 22 is too much for a network show.

  • Dan

    @Jay – Oliver is right it’s when there’s too many episodes that the show gets repetitive and hard to watch. The 22 episode seasons stretched from Sept-May is fine but Anger Management has already aired 24 episodes of its current season and already feels stale.

    Lets see so FX has the 10/90 model with this Kelsey Grammar series and George Lopez. My guess is that Saint George will premiere in January alongside Anger Managenents second half of its second season and when those 10 eps are done Kelsey’s series will air.

    The only time that this model didn’t workout is Comedy Centrals Big Lake in 2010. Not sure if there’s another instance.

  • Dan

    Actually after reading the article it seems that Saint George will air Fall 2014 and if its lucky it will get the back 90.

  • Nick

    Yes, Frasier is back on TV!

  • DonJ1973

    The 10/90 is going to flame out eventually. You’re going to start having inferior production values and the writing will be inferior compared to single-cam sitcoms.

    Look at the problems Anger Management has with Sheen apparently getting lazy and him canning Selma Blair for bad mouthing his work ethic.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    I like the 10/90 Model, but stop with the 2eps/wk mode.

    If they’d write & film 30eps over 9 months (40wks/280days), that would be much better.

    Actors & Writes would still get their time off & they’d have 9 days to write & then film each show. The writers should also be at least 2 or 3 episodes ahead. Not too far ahead that a course change writing wise will be able to occur if something goes wrong, but far enough ahead that they can have a vision for the future instead of mass-producing the show.

    The current way of doing the 10/90 won’t work for dramas & I’d like dramas to be given that large of a guarantee, that way they can really flesh out the storyline & characters. Comedies don’t need a real vision but some meat of a storyline is essential for any real quality, unless we are talking about a show that doesn’t pretend to have a story.

  • Steven

    Saint George premieres this fall.

  • Pete5125

    Their is nothing wrong with the 10/90 model…I don’t understand why the cable nets are having issues with the scheduling of the show,12 start in late Jan-April then 13 from mid June-through Sept…then 10again for 3 more seasons, leaving either a finale 10 episode season, or have them make 10 holiday episodes to sprinkle through 3 seasons…doesn’t seem like a stretch.

    The problem is so far that most of the money goes to the acting, then very little is left for directing and editing these episodes together, Anger Management isn’t bad just rough around the edges, and after the Charlie Seen trainwreck part of the equation delivered nothing but a sub standard sitcom without any of the behind the scenes drama that plagued “2 and a Half Men”….well that s where you where, TBS has done a couple of these deals and all of the Tyler Perry sitcoms seemed to do good business for them.

    I can’t blame Sony though outside of Sunny In Philadelphia, Reno 911, and South Park, I can’t think of any sitcoms making it enough seasons to syndicate, with the current cable model of 6 to 13 episodes a season a sitcom has to last 7 to 8 seasons to be in the 80 episode mark to syndicate, and that was 8 years of being on the air for 3 months taking a 9 month break and coming back strong enough to get going again, most of these shows especially TBS sitcoms made it to, the 3 year mark hitting in at 30-40 episodes and then where canceled.

    So why would it be even worth presuming it to be worth Sony’s money to continue, also under this model for 3 seasons FX has to advertise the show for 3 years then they can go into syndication as a known commodity

  • James

    I really don’t see this working.

    The markets for both actors rarely overlap, and if the comedy feels ‘forced’ at all – the show is dead.

    But then again – IF it’s a great show fox will kill it off with poor (re)scheduling.

  • colt13

    This has potential. The problem I see is that Kelsey may not be healthy enough to do 90 episodes. So the rest of the cast needs to be good enough if he has to miss 2 or 3 episodes.

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