It’s been announced that Matthew Perry is returning to television in another new comedy. He’ll star, co-write, and executive produce a new version of The Odd Couple.
Danny Jacobson, who created Two Guys and a Girl, will co-write and executive produce as well. The network has given a script commitment for the new series.
Created by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple began as a Broadway play and then went on to become a movie in 1968, famously starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as a pair of mis-matched divorced roommates, Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. They reprised their roles in a 1998 sequel.
In 1970, the material was later made into a television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Developed by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, the sitcom ran on ABC for five seasons. It ended in 1975 with fussy Felix remarrying his ex-wife and messy Oscar jumping for joy. A TV movie reunited the pair on CBS in 1993.
In the fall of 1975, ABC aired a cartoon called The Oddball Couple. This time the roles were played by a neat cat and a messy dog named Spiffy and Fleabag, voiced by Frank Nelson and Paul Winchell. It lasted one season.
Then, in 1982, Marshall launched The New Odd Couple. This sitcom featured some of the same scripts from the 1970s version but African-American actors Ron Glass and Demond Wilson filled the roles this time. It lasted just 13 episodes.
For this new incarnation, Perry plans to play the Oscar role.
In a statement, the actor said, “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. 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!”
What do you think? Do you like The Odd Couple play, movies, or TV series? What do you think of Perry’s plans so far?