The gay sitcom has come a long way since "Will & Grace," with this season featuring two high-profile sitcoms starting up on NBC with "The New Normal" and CBS' "Partners." Entertainment Weekly got a chance to chat with the latter's star Michael Urie, who dished about the experiences that have come with filming the new series.
"Partners" revolves around two long-time friends -- one gay (Louis, played by Urie) and one straight (Joe, played by "Numbers" star David Krumholtz) -- living and working together in New York City. Urie was previously best known for his role as Marc St. James on "Ugly Betty," and spoke about the differences between filming the dramedy versus the new sitcom. "I’m like a kid in a candy store, since 'Partners' mixes everything that I love about television and theater," Urie said. "The difference between Partners and Ugly Betty is this awesome live audience, so in that respect, it’s like doing a play. The audience is ripe. But also, they’re honest. They won’t laugh if they don’t get the joke."
Also joining the cast as Urie's boyfriend Wyatt is former Superman Brandon Routh. "He’s super cute and a big ol’ tree trunk of a man," Urie joked. "He plays the character’s aloofness perfectly. He was so brilliant as Clark Kent [in Superman Returns] — who is the classic guy that’s an aloof buffoon — so this is basically a sitcom version of that."
Urie is quick to point out that "Partners" sets itself apart from more issue-driven shows that involve gay characters such as "Glee" and "The New Normal," and tend to mix a little drama with their comedy. "There are places in the country where straight people still don’t understand how to be friends with a gay man, and I think if they catch our show, it can be what Will & Grace was for those types of folks. Where Ugly Betty and Glee were certainly able to tackle serious social issues about coming out, this show is much further along in the characters’ lives. We’re meeting them in mid-life, so it’ll be less of an issue show, and more of a lead by example show, I hope," the actor told EW.
Check out "Partners" series premiere tonight on CBS.