If you squinted you might have thought it was the 1990s on FX last night. The debut of the cabler’s legal comedy series Partners starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence certainly had all the components – especially with its veteran leads. While not gaining any traction among Adults 18-49, compared to other comedies that recently premiered on FX, the latest 10/90 series from Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury did have a reasonably good double launch viewershipwise. The 9 PM debut had 1.2 million viewers with a 0.4 among the 18-49s while the follow-up 9:30 PM original drew 1.0 million viewers with a 0.3 among the demo.
That’s a 33% drop among the demo for the 9 PM Partners from the 10 PM debut of Married on July 17. The new show was however up over the audience of 1.1 million that Married’s premiere got. Compared to FX’s other new comedy You’re The Worst Partners started out at an OK pace. The 10:30 PM July 17 of the Stephen Falk-created sitcom had 765,000 viewers with a 0.4 in the 18-49s. That’s even in the demo with Partners’ debut episode and 435,000 less in total viewers.
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Odd coupling Partners finds Grammer and Lawrence playing Chicago lawyers who team up in desperation after they meet in court on the worst day of their lives. With a premise like that, you can guess the rest. The pairing is FX’s third series from Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury that follows the 10/90 model: a 10-episode straight-to-series order which, if a ratings threshold is met, triggers an automatic 90-episode back order. The Charlie Sheen vehicle Anger Management earned its later 90 while the George Lopez starrer Saint George did not.