The Odd Couple Pilot Scoop: Look Who's Playing the Felix to Matthew Perry's Oscar

thomas-lennon-matthew-perry-The Odd CoupleCBS’ Odd Couple is complete!

Reno 911!‘s Thomas Lennon, last seen in NBC’s Sean Saves the World, has landed the role of Felix opposite Matthew Perry’s Oscar in CBS’ in-the-works sitcom reboot, TVLine has learned.

RELATED | Pilot Season 2014: Your Complete Guide to This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows and Who’s In Them

The multi-camera comedy pilot, based on Neil Simon’s classic play and exec produced and co-written by Perry himself (with Frasier‘s Joe Keenan), follows two mismatched roommates: the messy Oscar Madison (Perry) and neat freak Felix Unger (Lennon).

The Odd Couple began as a Broadway show in 1965 with actors Art Carney (as Felix) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar), who reprised his role for the 1968 movie opposite Jack Lemmon. A TV series adaptation, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, later ran for five seasons on ABC.

This isn’t Lennon and Perry’s first onscreen collaboration. The pair co-starred in 2009’s 17 Again. Additionally, Lennon appeared in two episodes of Friends as Joey’s identical twin hand.

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73 Comments
  1. AJ says:

    Great casting. :)

  2. christina says:

    joey’s identical hand twin!

  3. Sarah says:

    This is genius!

  4. Zach says:

    They should change the name to Strange Compatriots. Also, great casting.

  5. CBWBDK1 says:

    They’re great together. So funny in 17 again.

  6. Dani says:

    This is awesome. :)

    I’m excited for this. I hope the show makes it to CBS fall schedule.

  7. knd says:

    I’m in!

  8. Eric says:

    LOVE IT. I’m not ashamed to say that I loved 17 Again. Even though Lennon spent most of his time in that movie acting with Zac Efron as Matthew Perry. Glad to see these two acting together again. Love them both.

  9. Kevin says:

    I like both of these actors – I feel like they should be playing the opposite roles though.

    • rowan77 says:

      Perry already played someone finicky. He wants to go against type. I don’t blame him. Oscar is a fun part.

      • Sable says:

        I agree. They are actors. They do not want to be typecast by some viewers who can see them only as what they’ve been before. I cheer their desire to stretch their talent and play against what some people consider their type.

        • april-ann says:

          That’s very nice and everything. Funny thing about viewers at home though. They care about whether THEY’RE happy, not about actors having a desire to stretch their talent.

          • Zach says:

            Breaking Bad, anyone?

          • april-ann says:

            You sure you wanted to direct your reply to my comment, Zach?

          • Zach says:

            Yeah. I was proving you wrong. Bryan Cranston went against type and struck gold.

          • april-ann says:

            Oh, no. I don’t want to do it. I really don’t want to diss Chandler Bing. Don’t say you weren’t warned. First off and beside the now point, my point was that viewers don’t care about actors wishing to stretch their however limited abilities, they care if they are happy watching a tv show. But okay I’ll play. There have always been actors who have gone above and beyond, ie. stretching their acting talent. There was Rue McLanahan, who played the sweet, naive and somewhat vague Vivian in Maude, and then she stretched and played the loveable but worldly sk*nk Blanche in Golden Girls. It was such a stretch that no one thought she could pull it off or that they could buy it. There was Betty White, who played the insulting, condescending maneating sk*nk Sue Ann Nivens who stretched and went on to portray the sweet, naive and loveable innocent prude Rose on Golden Girls. Many thought those roles should have been reversed. But they pulled it off. These were not mediocre actors who got a lucky break. These were true actors with true acting chops. They could go against type. Could play any role given them. With gusto. And make it look effortless. And now you want to COMPARE Matthew Perry to BRYAN CRANSTON? Now that’s just sad. If you would like to describe him as going against type, okay. What’s his type? Tim Whatley wasn’t Jewish but was a dentist who “converted” to Judaism so he could political correctly tell Jewish jokes. He wasn’t on for very many episodes but he stole every scene he was in. Then he played the Dad on Malcolm in the Middle. The guy in the background, but still shining. Why do you think it was Lois who was so recognized? She was good, but she didn’t win all those acting accolades all by herself. (Example: look at Lauren Graham, who was egregiously always overlooked – she almost always had to act off those who couldn’t act). Bryan Cranston was not a mediocre actor who got a lucky break. He struck gold because of his talent. I like Matthew Perry and I just loved Chandler Bing but you have not proved me wrong. Matthew Perry is a mediocre actor who got a lucky break. It’s up to him to prove me wrong.

          • S. says:

            You’re kidding right? Matthew Perry’s not the least bit mediocre nor did he just get lucky with Chandler. People slammed Studio 60 but he was excellent in it. He’s gotten Emmy noms for West Wing (2 times, so that’s 3 times working for Sorkin and he doesn’t rehire mediocre actors) and the Ron Clark Story. Then he did a nice job on The Good Wife. I think he’s actually got a lot going for him in dramatic parts with opportunities for him to demonstrate some wit or have subtle emotional moments. I hope he knows people appreciate that and aren’t just hung up on seeing him tell jokes (although he’s great at that). There were nice things he did on Studio 60 like when his character noticed Danny was in love with Jordan and as he sees Danny walk away he just smiles to himself because his best friend’s in love and he’s happy for him. It was a little moment, but wow he nailed it. Look in his eyes when he does that. He doesn’t have to prove jack to anybody.

          • Bob Johnson says:

            You’re nuts, april-ann.

          • RH says:

            Holy God, you are all over this thread. Give it a rest!

    • april-ann says:

      I agree. Except that I think only one of them should be in this show – as Felix.

  10. mdbchud says:

    Like both actors. STILL don’t need a remake. How about new ideas???? Oh, that’s right…this is Hollywood we are talking about

    • arianeb says:

      My thoughts exactly. Put these two in an original sitcom, and I am there, but a remake of The Odd Couple — a one joke stage play expanded to TV, and I’m not so sure.

      • Jason says:

        Matthew Peery has been in more failed sitcoms probably then any other actor in Hollywood. Before and after friends. Most of them were original ideas. Maybe he wants to try a classic idea with his production company. Truth is most ideas fail. So why don’t you put up millions of dollars on your original idea. It’s called a business!!

    • J says:

      New ideas for a Perry sitcom? You intrigue me.

      Go on…

    • Martoukian says:

      The article neglected to mention the movie sequel, and the OTHER TV adaptation (with Ron Glass and Demond Wilson) or the other stage versions (including one with Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno). This story has been DONE to DEATH. Add to that the fact that Matthew Perry has starred in 7 or 8 TV series in the last 15 or 20 years, exactly ONE of which was a success. Maybe the failure of this will finally get people to realize we need something new.

      • Bob Johnson says:

        I see what you mean:

        Second Chance – 1988 – 21 episodes
        Sydney – 1990 – 13 episodes
        Home Free – 1993 – 13 episodes
        Friends – 1994-2004 – 238 episodes
        Studio 60 – 2006 – 22 episodes
        Mr. Sunshine – 2011 – 13 episodes
        Go On – 2012 – 22 episodes

  11. Joey says:

    I can see Lennon as Felix, but not so much Perry as Oscar.

  12. Tom Charles says:

    I had been hoping for Neil Patrick Harris. This works quite well though.

    • Zach says:

      NPH has already basically done the role in the criminally underrated series Stark Raving Mad. Check it out on Youtube. All 22 episodes.

  13. Joey Padron says:

    Glad they’ll be working together again. They were great in 17 again.

  14. Mika02 says:

    Sean save the world lost our gain I can’t wait for this!

  15. c-mo says:

    Love, love, love these two actors and am looking forward to seeing them share a smaller screen in my home. They were fantastic together on the big screen…even though we really didn’t see them together other than at the end of the movie.

  16. James D says:

    perfect casting. Tomas Lennon is one of the best, i miss reno 911.

  17. Scott says:

    I wondered how something as unoriginal as this could possibly get made. Then it dawned on me…”exec produced and co-written by Perry”. So its basically a retirement vanity project then.

    I don’t care who’s in it. If it makes it to series I will not be watching it.

  18. Michael says:

    These two are comedy gold. They definitely have a in viewer in me.

  19. zimdog says:

    Hand twin, not twin hand. Could it BE more obvious?

  20. Soopah Soopah Soopah says:

    He’s going to steal the show, and I’m alright with that.

  21. This sucks. Should have been Matt LeBlanc.

  22. Jason says:

    Wow! Great casting. Loved Lennon ever since his days on the State! Let’s hope Lennon gets to help write and ad lib and bring his long timepartner Ben Garant along as Murray!!!

  23. Donna says:

    Love it!

  24. Monica says:

    No matter if it is a remake it will be original in many senses. Most of TV comedies are basically based on odd couples, anyway.

    MP and TL are versatile actors, not just single stereotyped actors and their casting is perfect. I`m sure they have all potential for making a great show and I can’t wait to watch it. Personally, I think MP is perfect for portraying a messy guy and will surprise mainly those that are skeptic about that, just wait and see. I wish them success, with my support and positive thoughts.

  25. N tTVf says:

    Klaus, back from Germany!!! Lennon was very, very good in his arc on HIMYM – his speech to Ted about finding the right person in life when the two were at the Farhampton station was one of the series’ great moments.

    Yes, I would have liked to see the two guys here in a comedy based on an original idea, but Lennon and Perry are both very good – this re-make idea might work a-okay.

  26. anniem says:

    I love Matthew Perry, but can’t see him as Oscar Madison. If he wants to star in a classic remake, I think a better role for him would be as Tony Nelson in an I Dream of Jeannie remake.

  27. Matt says:

    The original show is a television classic, but this casting is actually pretty good. I wasn’t sure of Perry as Oscar but seeing the perfect Thomas Lennon as Felix – Perry as Oscar works for me now. I’ll watch but I will try not to compare the quality too much to the original show (yes I know it was a play and film before).

  28. Great casting, but I’ve said this is the 4th Matthew Perry project I’ve said this about.
    Hopefully he’ll have better luck on CBS. Fingers crossed for a good lead-in. (Like BBT!)

  29. catch&release says:

    I’m already bored.

  30. wjm980 says:

    Does anyone honestly believe that ANY of Perry’s failed shows would have been a hit if someone else had played his role? The answer is, no one should. If the writing is good, even a mediocre actor can seem great. If the writing is bad, even Meryl Streep couldn’t save it.

  31. CactusRose says:

    OK, sorry to say I don’t know who Thomas Lennon is but I think Sean Hayes was the obvious choice for the part. We shal see…….

  32. Kate Garner says:

    That’s so perfect. I love them both. Both underrated, I wish them all the luck!

  33. The Ghost of Tony Randall says:

    Brilliant!

  34. Tips. Happy my family I uncovered your site out of the blue, and I’m stunned the key reason why this specific chance decided not to taken place before! I added this.

  35. Jim Belushi would have made a perfect Oscar and John Cryer as Felix, this cast won’t last as season

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