After years of struggling to find a new sitcom that wouldn’t be unfairly compared to Friends, Matthew Perry has finally hit upon a show that will sidestep all that by putting precedence on entirely different comparisons. Variety reports he’s signed on to develop and star in an update of The Odd Couple, Neil Simon’s venerable comedy that continues to enjoy a healthy run on the stage in addition to spawning a hit movie and two sitcoms, thus giving the show a lot more to measure up to than just Friends. “They’re the original characters of the Odd Couple—they’re the original odd couple!” one imagines the pitch went, possibly as Perry threw in a wan, obligatory “Could they be any more mismatched?” to please executives at CBS, which will now become the third network to take a chance on a Matthew Perry sitcom in the wake of ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and NBC’s Go On. (Sleep well, darling Goon.)
Perry will produce and co-write the show that’s described as a “reinvention” of the classic Odd Couple premise, though it will still find Perry playing the unlikely role of slovenly Oscar Madison to “neat freak” Felix Unger (possibly to avoid any similarities to Friends’ Chandler-Joey dynamic). Of course, it’s also possible that “reinvention” means Felix is such a “neat freak” because he’s an actual robot, in which case, you go for it, Matthew Perry. Make The Odd Couple with a robot, because damn if you haven’t earned the right to get a little crazy with your choices by now.
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