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Larroquette Plays A 'Payne'

With five Emmys under his belt, John Larroquette is making his way back to series television, reports CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen. In the midseason replacement Payne, he stars as Royal Payne, the contentious owner of a hotel called Whispering Pines.

"It's a hotel with Norman Bates' dad running it," quips Larroquette. "It's a lovely place to stay if you just didn't have to put up with the owners."

Payne is Larroquette's Americanized version of the popular British farce Fawlty Towers. For him, the "up" side to remaking a cult classic is having a model for a situation comedy that works. But he also knows that there could be a "down" side.

He explains, "The cult that are great fans of itÂ…may look at you and not accept the fact that you are trying to emulate something that is considered sacred ground."

Although Larroquette has known sitcom success in the past, with such series as Night Court and The John Larroquette Show, he says there is no exact formula for it. But having the right ensemble cast is an essential first step.

"Unless you've got the players, unless you've got the line-up there that kind of provides that sort of freedom for the writers to be able to go to any of those characters at anytime, then I think you're dead in the water," he says.

Payne airs Monday nights on CBS, right after Everybody Loves Raymond.

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