Executive producers David Cohan and Max Mutchnick are teaming up to bring us a sitcom this fall on CBS entitled Partners. Which would be all well and good, if not for the fact that FOX aired a sitcom of the same title back in the mid-90's. But, you might interject, lots of shows have shared a title and weren't accused of copying, which is true, but most don't have the exact same plot as well.
Partners was a 1995 FOX sitcom that centered around a pair of young architects and friends played by Jon Cryer and Tate Donovan, along with the fiance of Donovan's character. The new Partners is a 2012 CBS comedy that centers around a pair of young architects and friends played David Krumholtz and Michael Urie. Making the similarities even more suspect, is the fact that Jeff Greenstein (creator of the 1995 series) worked as a writer for Mutchnick and Cohan on their previous series Will & Grace.
In response to a tweet pointing out the close parallels between the two projects, Greenstein tweeted - "Gee, how’d THAT happen?” That doesn't seem like a man who's happy about the situation.
Cohan was asked about the matter during a panel at the recent TCA press tour - "I obviously knew Jeff [Greenstein] had done a show called Partners, but I wasn’t very familiar with it."
Mutchnick echoed similar sentiments - "[Greenstein] is a great writer. He worked for us for a number of years. It was a wonderful experience. I’m not really sure why [the similarities are] interesting. It’s just such a different world. I actually never saw Partners.”
For his part, David Krumholtz responded to the controversy with a seemingly tongue-in-cheek comment - "Is it an ‘unfortunate coincidence’ that my character’s name is Tate Donovan?” Producer Mutchnick had previously used the phrase "unfortunate coincidence" when asked about how similar the two comedies were.
Do you think it's a "coincidence" that the shows are almost identical?