11/15/2013 04:44 am ET

'Ground Floor' Premiere: Office Building Upstairs And Downstairs Worlds Collide (VIDEO)

TBS is dipping its toes into the Bill Lawrence pool for a second time with the premiere of "Ground Floor." Lawrence is the creator of "Cougar Town," which TBS picked up from ABC. Now, Lawrence and co-creator Greg Mallins are bringing the basic concept behind "Upstairs Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" to the world of business. "Ground Floor" centers on a young man who works at the top of a corporate building, and the woman he falls for, who works on the titular ground floor.

"Pitch Perfect" star Skylar Astin takes center stage as Brody, an up-and-coming banker who tries to balance his high-pressure job with Jenny, the girl downstairs he's fallen for. Each level is populated with quirky characters, but none so dynamic as John C. McGinley. McGinley, who stole scenes in Bill Lawrence's "Scrubs," portrays Brody's boss and father figure who at first rejects this new relationship as bad for Brody's career. Later, after meeting Jenny, he decides he likes her -- he still thinks the relationship will end in heartbreak.

The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman said that the jokes were hit and miss, but maybe we just haven't seen the best of "Ground Floor" yet. The New York Times' Neil Genzlinger says the show finds it's stride in its third episode. "'Ground Floor' doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you," he wrote. "[It's] a series with comfortable, clearly drawn characters and reliable, steady laughs.”

A highlight of this two-episode premiere might have been Astin singing. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Astin said he'll be singing again in future episodes. Maybe his singing can drown out the incessant laugh track.

"Ground Floor" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on TBS.

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