The Odd Couple is an American television sitcom series developed by Matthew Perry, Danny Jacobson and Joe Keenan which was aired from CBS from February 19, 2015 to January 30, 2017, for a total of three seasons and 38 episodes. It was based on the 1965 play written by Neil Simon, following the 1968 film, the original 1970s television series, a 1975 Saturday morning cartoon, a 1982 reboot of the 1970 series, The Odd Couple: Together Again (a TV film reunion of the 1970 series) and The Odd Couple II (a 1998 sequel to the 1968 film). This series stars with Matthew Perry (also developing and executive producing the series) as the slovenly Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as the obsessively tidy Felix Unger. Perry and Lennon previously worked together on the film 17 Again.
The series was announced in December 2013 and was picked up by CBS as a midseason offering for the 2014–15 season. On May 16, 2016, CBS renewed the show for a third season of 13 episodes, which premiered on October 17, 2016. On May 15, 2017, CBS cancelled the series after three seasons.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Felix Unger and Oscar Madison meet at college in the late 1980s and quickly became friends. Years later, Felix is a news writer and photographer and Oscar is a sports talk show host, but both are divorced from their wives. Felix's wife Ashley kicked him out and Oscar's wife Gaby left him, and now the two friends have to live in the same apartment in spite of their differences. Felix is extremely neurotic and fussy in contrast to Oscar who is slovenly and easy-going. In the middle of all this, Felix and Oscar are trying to date Casey and Emily, two sisters who coincidentally are roommates in the same building. Lucky for the divorcees, both women also have recently exited unhealthy relationships. Felix is pretty insecure because of his remaining feelings for Ashley, but Oscar feels better off away from his ex.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Main[edit | edit source]
- Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison
- Thomas Lennon as Felix Unger
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Danielle "Dani" Duncan
- Lindsay Sloane as Emily
- Wendell Pierce as Teddy
Recurring[edit | edit source]
- Leslie Bibb as Casey
- Dave Foley as Roy
- Lauren Graham as Gaby
- Geoff Stults as Marcus "Murph" Murphy
- Christine Woods as Ashley
- Teri Hatcher as Charlotte
- Sheryl Underwood as Diane
Seasons[edit | edit source]
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (U.S. dates)|
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||12||February 19, 2015||May 14, 2015|
|2||13||April 7, 2016||May 23, 2016|
|3||13||October 17, 2016||January 30, 2017|
Production[edit | edit source]
Development and pilot[edit | edit source]
Matthew Perry is a fan of The Odd Couple, particularly the 1968 film version, which served as the main source of inspiration for the revived series. Perry had been pitching the idea to the networks since the late 2000s, expecting the show for 2010. However, executives passed on it, and Perry turned into another production, NBC's Go On which was canceled after one season. Thereafter, Perry began concentrating on his pet project once again, being finally picked up by CBS in late 2013.
Perry and Danny Jacobson began developing the updated take on Neil Simon's classic as a multi-camera comedy at the network. Perry and Jacobson are co-writing the CBS Television Studios-based half-hour, with Perry attached to play the Oscar role. Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman of Timberman-Beverly Productions and Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum of The Tannenbaum Co. will also serve as executive producers on the project, which has a penalty attached. On February 25, 2014, CBS ordered a pilot co-written by Perry and Joe Keenan. On May 9, 2014, CBS ordered the pilot to series for a 13-episode season scheduled for a mid-season premiere.
On May 11, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes which premiered on April 7, 2016 and concluded on May 23, 2016.
On October 31, 2016, CBS announced that the fourth episode of the third season would pay tribute to the late Garry Marshall, creator of the original TV version in 1970. Marshall previously guest starred in the second season of the current series as Oscar's father, Walter. The series' third season concluded on January 30, 2017 with no additional episodes ordered.
Casting[edit | edit source]
On February 28, 2014, Sarah Baker who previously worked with Perry on Go On was cast for a role for the pilot playing Oscar's assistant. On March 13, 2014, Thomas Lennon was cast opposite Perry as Felix. The Michael J. Fox Show star Wendell Pierce was cast as Teddy, a buddy partner for Oscar for the pilot on March 14, 2014. Georgia King was cast as a female lead on March 17, 2014. Lindsay Sloane was cast for the pilot on March 21, 2014. Following the series order, both Baker and King dropped out and subsequently the network was recasting the roles as of May 13, 2014. On August 8, 2014, it was announced that Yvette Nicole Brown was cast to succeed Baker as Oscar's assistant Dani – though the role had been downgraded to recurring to allow for her role on the upcoming season of Community. However shortly after announcing on August 30, 2014 that she was leaving Community due to a family emergency, she was upgraded to a series regular role on October 6, 2014. On September 10, 2015, it was announced that Teri Hatcher was cast as a recurring character named Charlotte, who's a new love interest for Oscar.
Cancellation[edit | edit source]
On April 10, 2017, Matthew Perry tweeted, "My face on the Odd Couple stage door has been painted over with green paint. I think it's safe to assume that we have been cancelled. #subtle".
The series was not picked up another fourth season on May 15, 2017. The combination of factors, including declining ratings, CBS's desire to have an ownership stake, and the network needing to clear space for three new sitcoms in the fall 2017 schedule, led to the show's demise. This series would replace from Perry's co-star Matt LeBlanc in Man with a Plan which was return in November 2017.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Ratings[edit | edit source]
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||No. of
|Premiered||Ended||TV season||Rank||Avg. viewers|
|1||Thursday 8:30 PM||12||February 19, 2015||13.57||May 14, 2015||8.17||2014–15||32||11.28|
|2||Thursday 8:30 PM
|13||April 7, 2016||7.63||May 23, 2016||4.47||2015–16||47||8.57|
|3||Monday 9:30pm||13||October 17, 2016||4.58||January 30, 2017||5.30||2016–17||72||6.00|
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
The Odd Couple has received mixed reviews from critics. On Metacritic, season one has a score of 42 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the season 1 received 24% "rotten" ratings with consensus, "Stars Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon make a fine Oscar and Felix, but The Odd Couple's flat jokes and canned laughter are pretty old hat."
Controversy[edit | edit source]
The third episode of the second season: "From Here to Maturity" was criticized by many Bosniak communities in Europe and North America. In the episode, Felix (Thomas Lennon) asks Emily (Lindsay Sloane) on a date by making a joke referencing the Srebrenica massacre, in which 8000 young Bosniak men and boys were systematically rounded up and killed by the Bosnian Serb Army. In an open letter, Eldin Elezovic, President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks stated that the Congress felt "very disturbed and disappointed" by the joke. He further said "Saying 'Let’s go visit that new Serbian restaurant, The taste of Srebrenica' is analogous to saying something as horrendous as 'Let's go visit that new German restaurant, The taste of Auschwitz'." Almir Seckanovic of Faktor said the joke was "the most primitive way" to insult Srebrenica victims; Branka Antic Stauber, who runs a non-governmental organization that works with Bosniak women who were raped during the war, called the joke "inhumane"; and the Ontario-based research organization The Institute of Research of Genocide Canada, called the joke a "terrible humiliation of the victims of Srebrenica". On May 10, 2016 executive producer, Bob Daily apologized for the joke saying: "We were unaware of any connection to the terrible tragedy in Srebrenica. We would never intentionally disrespect or make light of such an event and sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended."
Other media[edit | edit source]
Streaming[edit | edit source]
All episodes appear to be available for online streaming on CBS All Access and others.
DVD Release[edit | edit source]
CBS/Paramount was release the first season from DVD on April 5, 2016.
|Image||DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Odd Couple - Season One||12||April 5, 2016|
|The Odd Couple - Season Two||13||August 21, 2018|
|The Odd Couple - Season Three||13|