WILL & GRACE Creators Get Some Sh*t About Their New Show

…Which, kinda like WILL & GRACE, happens to be all about them, except now they’re both men. Well, the writers always have both been men, but now the characters are too. Only there’s this other show, see, created by somebody else they used to work with, that’s also all about them. Or else they’re all about it? Whatever.

‘Partners’ Co-Creators Talk About Putting Themselves in New CBS Comedy – by Michael O’Connell

Max Mutchnick and David Kohan explain how much of their own relationship informs their return to TV and why comparisons to similar series with the same name are “unfortunate.”

Partners co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the duo behind Will & Grace, spoke a bit more personally than most showrunners during their Television Critics Association summer press tour panel. Though the stars of their new CBS series did field some questions, most reporters targeted the Emmy-winning duo’s decision to focus their latest collaboration on their own history.

The series follows two best friends and business partners, one gay (Michael Urie) and one straight (David Krumholtz), and the various issues their close relationship create in their respective love lives.

“What we’re writing is a dynamic,” said Mutchnick. “We’ve been friends since we were 14 years old. We’re in a relationship.”

Mutchnick went on to give a rather detailed and hammed up recap of their meeting in high school — Kohan, an athlete who dabbled in drama, and Mutchnick, a boy who had framed photos of Bette Midler in his room — and his decision to come out of the closet to his best friend.

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All this is fine and dandy, but here’s the problem:

Once upon a time there was another series called PARTNERS. Jeff Greenstein, who also was a writer-producer on WILL & GRACE, created this “similar series,” which not only had the same name, but a whole lot of other similarities as well – way back in 1995. Here’s how Greenstein tweeted it the other day:

“So I guess it’s OK to rip off the title, premise, pilot story, characters’ jobs and pilot director from a colleague’s series and claim it as your own. Have fun!”

We love the smell of burning lawsuits early in the morning. And, considering his use of the magic words, “rip off” in his tweet, so will Jeff Greenstein. (As for the same director – Jimmy Burrows – shooting both pilots, can you spell w-h-o-r-e? all we can say is “Hmm…”)

Are we really terrible people for looking forward so eagerly to the sideshow?