‘Partners’ Cast and Creators Talk Friendship and Controversy: 5 Highlights From PaleyFest

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CBS’ new buddy comedy Partners is all about relationships. Whether it be the relationship with your best friend, your significant other or your best friend’s significant other, the show finds the humor in the ins and outs of what happens when two of the most important people in your life interact.

Based on the 30 year-long friendship of Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the show stars David Krumholtz and Micheal Urie as Joe and Louis, life long besties and business partners. In the sitcom’s very first episode, Krumholtz’s Joe gets engaged to the stunning Ali (Sophia Bush). We also meet Louis’ love, Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a reformed partier who is now a vegan nurse.

As part of the Paley Center’s Fall TV Preview week, the cast and creators of Partners gathered on Thursday in Beverly Hills for a hilarious and informative panel on their new show. With everything from auditions to history covered, read on for our top 5 highlights from the event:

BFFs For Life: Kohan and Mutchnick have been friends for more than 30 years now and have been writing together for 20 of them. The duo’s friendship began way back in high school through a mutual friend after Kohan joined the theater department.

“We met through the woman that we actually based the part of Grace on and that story really came out of when I told Janet that I wasn’t going to be able to marry her because vaginas weren’t my thing,” Mutchnick recalls. “The only way I stayed in touch with her was through David.”

Recreating the friendship: Krumholtz likened the creators’ strong bond to the Siamese twins on TLC’s Abby and Britney. “That’s them,” he says. “They finish each other’s thoughts. They’re connected at the hip.”

Having never met each other before their first day of work, did the actors have to work hard at portraying this epic “bromance”?

Krumholtz told the audience, “We haven’t had to work too hard at it to be honest. Michael and I are kind of kindred spirits I think. It’s kismet. “

Urie continued saying, “I remember when you walked in to Max’s and I was like I’m going to go in for a hug and see what he does. You took it and went ‘ehh.'”

Funny Auditions: Whereas Routh attempted to use an ice-breaker when he auditioned, recalling his one line role (“I’m curvy where it counts.”) on Will & Grace, Bush went all out with her skills. With a scene of the pilot taking place at yoga with Louis, she told the crowd,  “I just got up on the floor and did the scene in downward dog and we were like ‘Yeah. We like each other.’ This is a good thing.”

No controversy: With all the controversy over that other new gay comedy, NBC’s The New Normal, this show hasn’t received any negative attention. When asked why he thinks the show has gone unscathed, Kohan said, “It’s a buddy comedy. I think The New Normal is a little bit more political.”

Mutchnick continued saying, “We are of the mind that we are supposed to entertain as many people as we can at Monday night on 8:30. That’s what our job is. That’s what our job will be. As long as we’re on the air, there will be absolutely no teaching. That’s not for us.”

Thanksgiving in Pa.: An upcoming storyline will feature the gang going to visit Wyatt’s family in Pennsylvania. Wyatt is a member of the Mennonite religion, so the actor claimed that his character doesn’t always understand everything that’s happening around him.

Mutchnick told the crowd, “We’re going to have a very Mennonite thanksgiving. They’re all going to Pennsylvania for thanksgiving and Wyatt is going to come out to his family as vegan.”

Partners premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 PM on CBS.

Will you be watching Partners when it premieres? Let us know in the comments below!