Fall TV Pilot Preview: CBS' 'Partners'

2012-19 BIZ Sked Partners H

Relocating "Two and a Half Men" to Thursday from its nine-season Monday perch sets a high ratings bar for its CBS replacement, a gay-straight buddy comedy from "Will & Grace's" David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. If viewers tune out, the rest of CBS' Monday lineup could suffer.

When Two and a Half Men flees to Thursdays and 2 Broke Girls moves up to 9 p.m. on Mondays this fall, it leaves a very attractive vacancy on CBS' Monday lineup -- one they've chose to give to Partners.

The Hollywood Reporter watched the comedy pilot -- a bit of a contemporary take on The Odd Couple -- ahead of the series' official premiere, and, per our ongoing Fall Preview 2012, we've settled on five things to know about the show ahead of its launch.

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1. It has the magic time slot! Before you get bogged down with silly elements like the "story" or the "cast," just know that CBS likes it enough to put it on at 8:30 p.m. on a Monday. That mythical half-hour launched How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls. It's the closest thing to a sure-bet for a CBS comedy.

2. Make that business partners. There's a barrage of gay-related series heading to the broadcast networks this fall, but titular comrades Charlie (straight, played by David Krumholtz) and Louis (gay, played by Michael Urie) aren't a couple -- they're childhood best friends who run their own architecture firm. They may also happen to rely on each other for everything else and might be closer to each other than they are with their respective significant others, but therein lies the story.

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3. Unlike most new series, Partners is relatively free of fresh faces. All four remembers of the core cast -- Krumholtz, Urie, Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh -- either had roles on long-running series or played Superman. In this instance, Krumholtz hails from Numbers while Urie stole scenes throughout four seasons of Ugly Betty. Bush just ended her mind-bogglingly long run on One Tree Hill and Routh was, of course, very briefly the Man of Steel.

4. There's a gay TV pedigree. Partners comes to CBS via the writers of landmark sitcom, Will & Grace. Though Max Mutchnick and David Kohan have yet to strike gold since -- remember $#*! My Dad Says and Four Kings? -- there are high expectations for the duo. Will & Grace director James Burrows even helmed the pilot.

5. This is a buddy comedy. Don't let the significant others distract you, because, at its heart, the Partners pilot is much more about Charlie and Louis than it is their significant others.