Creators Of New CBS Sitcom "Partners" Being Criticized For Similarites To 1990's FOX Series

Parnters 2012, and Partners 1995

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?


- Partners (1996)
- Partners (2012)

Written by: msd85
Jul 30th, 2012, 12:27 pm


Message Posted On Oct 26th, 2012, 6:58 am
Hollywood is full of thieves. In this case the writers are well known so they can speak up. If you are unknown and get stolen from you're pretty much screwed. Yes the shows are identical. At the end of the day the writer who lifted the idea will get paid tons of money and CBS will get their lawyers to protect him. Nothing will happen to him. Copyright favors big Corporations, ie CBS who steal. And CBS protects a writer who makes them money. They don't care where the idea comes from. Writing is not important anymore. It's the producers who are important who can produce the shows. I've been told that. Anyone can have an idea, but can you get talent and produce it? If not, you're shit out of luck. Even if you can, can you get it to market before the other guy steals it? If not, you're shit out of luck.


Level 39 (91%)
Points: 17879.2
Since: 08/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jul 30th, 2012, 4:22 pm

Boyf? Wow that sounds awful. I'm glad I didn't watch that show. :)


Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jul 30th, 2012, 2:45 pm

Ah, yes.  1995.  Fox.  "Partners".  I remember it well.  Originator of the 'word' boyf...because she started to call him her boyfriend but suddenly realized she didn't know if he was or not.  Does comedy *get* any better than this?  $Diety, I certainly hope so :-)


'Do you think it's a "coincidence" that the shows are almost identical?'


Of course not.  There are no new ideas in Hollywood.  And, "everything old is new again."


P.S. Wow.  Does Cryer ever look different in that photo than he does today.  I almost didn't recognize him!


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