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Lionsgate TV Cooking Up Oddball Comedy for Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence
At any point have you wondered what a sitcom co-starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence would look like? Well, you might not have to wonder for much longer. The two actors are apparently pairing up to star in and produce a multi-cam comedy from Lionsgate TV and its subsidiary Debmar-Mercury. The project is on the fast track now that Grammer’s divorce is final – his ex-wife reportedly owned half of Gammer’s Grammnet Productions. But that’s over and done with, so it’s time for the studio to start the search for potential creators who can come up with a concept that will work well with both Grammer and Lawrence.
A meeting was held in November to get the two actors in a room together and Deadline reported they had great chemistry. A potential concept for Grammer and Lawrence could be some kind of “oddball” comedy. Both Grammer and Lawrence have plenty of experience in the realm of sitcoms. Despite his most recent dramatic outing in Starz’s Boss, Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane for 20 years on Cheers and Frasier. And Lawrence had his own show, Martin.
This sitcom is going for the same production model used by Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, which started out with a 10-episode order but soon racked up a 90-episode pick up from FX and was sold to the Fox stations. This model allows Debmar-Mercury to sell sitcoms to cable networks with 10-episode straight-to-series orders and if they manage to hit a ratings quota they can order multiple seasons to quickly accumulate enough episodes to go in to syndication.
This method of producing television has been used for Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet The Browns, as well as Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet?. TBS is also developing a family sitcom starring George Lopez with this model in mind. It’s a strange way to go about things, but it apparently works enough for it to still be considered a viable option.