Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence return to their sitcom roots, starring together in the new and extremely entertaining “Partners.”
The comedy will air back-to-back episodes over the next five Mondays, beginning this week at 8 p.m. on FX (Time Warner Cable channels 61, 205 and 1205).
In it, Grammer is Allen Braddock, a crass and elitist attorney who has just been fired from his father’s firm. Lawrence, meanwhile, is do-gooder Marcus Jackson, an attorney known for his ethics and community activism. They come together -- in the men’s room, funny enough -- when Braddock requests to represent Jackson in his divorce case.
The talented supporting cast includes TV veteran Telma Hopkins as Jackson’s wisecracking mother, Edi Patterson as Jackson’s feisty investigator, Rory O’Malley as Jackson’s put-upon assistant and Daniele Watts and McKayley Miller as Jackson’s and Braddock’s daughters, respectively.
The joy here is watching Grammer and Lawrence trade barbs (and there are a bunch of them). Especially humorous is the second episode when they pose as a gay couple trying to take down a crooked wedding planner. The episode features Grammer in a kilt. Enough said. So well done is “Partners,” I, for once, didn’t mind the annoying laugh track attached to it.
Alone, Grammer and Lawrence are funny enough to carry a sitcom. Their track records prove it. But together … well, it’s kind of the like the Super Bowl of funny, with a good game coming every time out. Grade: A
Also premiering this week:
* “Outlander,” 9 p.m. Saturday, Starz. From Ron Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”) comes the adaptation of Diana J. Gabaldon’s popular book series. “Outlander” follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 and begins a passionate relationship with a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior. If you can’t wait until Saturday, the pilot is available now for viewing at Starz.com.
Across the remote
* “Fargo” is a go for a second season on “FX.” The “prequel” will take place in 1979 in Sioux Falls, S.D., telling the story of Keith Carradine’s character Lou Solverson (Deputy Molly’s diner-owning dad). Solverson made several references during the first season of “Fargo” about a case from his law enforcement days that left him with his pronounced limp. Can’t wait.
* Well, Kirstie Alley’s comeback didn’t last long. TV Land canceled “Kirstie,” which also starred Rhea Perlman (Carla from “Cheers”) and Michael Richards (Kramer from “Seinfeld”) after just one season.
* Kyra Sedgwick will return to the small screen for the first time since leaving her Emmy-winning role on “The Closer” for the Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” She will have a two-episode arc this season as the nemesis of Emmy nominee Andre Braugher.
* NBC found its Peter Pan in “Girls” (HBO) cast member and classically trained singer Allison Williams. The network will air “Peter Pan Live” on Dec. 4.
* Nearly 4 million tuned in last week in for Syfy's second "Sharknado." Not surprisingly, a third one is in the works, set in a city-to-be-named. How about landlocked Lincoln?