The Odd Couple is making a return to television and Matthew Perry will star, co-write and executive produce the show for CBS.
Reported exclusively by Deadline, the show will house two mismatched roommates – messy Oscar Madison (Perry) and neat freak Felix Unger. The series is co-written by Matthew Perry and Danny Jacobson (co-writer for Mad About You). The Odd Couple comes from CBS TV Studios and top pods, Timberman-Beverly and The Tannenbaum Co. This will mark Perry’s return to a live audience comedy after – ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and NBC’s Go On.
The show is based on Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple that premiered in 1965 on Broadway. The play starred Walter Matthau as Oscar and Art Carney as Felix. A 1968 movie came from the play where Matthau reprised his roll of Oscar and Jack Lemmon as Felix. In 1970 a TV series came from ABC/Paramount TV with Jack Klugman as Oscar and Tony Randall as Felix.
Perry states this has been a dream 34 years in the making.
“Ever since seeing the movie The Odd Couple when I was 10 years old, it has been a dream for me to play Oscar Madison,” Perry said. “To be given the opportunity to develop a modern version of it for CBS has put a permanent smile across my face. I met up with a wonderful writing partner in Danny Jacobson. We both have such a passion for the source material that we have instantly become obsessed with making this great. Plus, I think it’s time for me to be in front of a live audience again. I miss that. The search for Felix Ungar is on!”
Acting as executive producers on the project are Perry and Jacobson along with Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.
A sequel of The Odd Couple came from CBS titled Odd Couple and Matthau and Lemmon reprised their roles. Other remakes include The New Odd Couple (ABC), an ABC Cartoon, and a play The Female Odd Couple.