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Even though CBS has the most popular comedy on television right now, and has held that distinction for a while now, it definitely doesn't mean all of the network's laugh-provoking series are doing so well. And no show understands that better than The Odd Couple, which has been pretty stunning in how little success it's achieved, ending its third season as CBS' worst-rated comedy. That might make for instant cancellation news on other networks, but when recently asked if The Odd Couple was knocking on death's door, CBS Entertainment president Glenn Gellar was more optimistic.
Why should he be so good-natured about The Odd Couple, despite the fact that no one has even confidently ordered up a full season in three years? Because even though the Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon-starring reboot is behind CBS' other sitcoms in terms of total viewers and in the key 18-49 demo rating, it's fairly consistent with the numbers it does bring in, especially in Season 3, with an average weekly viewership between 4.5-5.5 million people, and a demo rating that hovers right around a 1.0, which is generally the break-off point. In fact, Monday night's two-episode finale brought in both a season high demo rating of 1.1 and a season low demo rating of 0.9. Talent!
You might have noticed that those numbers still look better than the ratings for series on many other networks, so being on the bottom at CBS is basically mid-level success for other shows. And even though critics haven't been kind to The Odd Couple, the fans have a lot to watch, with a cast that also includes Yvette Nicole Brown, Wendell Pierce and Lindsay Sloane, as well as recurring cast members Lauren Graham, Leslie Bibb and Dave Foley, to name a few. The talent is undeniable.
But, to be fair, Glenn Gellar spoke to Deadline about The Odd Couple's future earlier in January, before Season 3 was officially wrapped, so there could have been a slight change of tone in the interim. And few would be surprised, since CBS isn't exactly tooting the sitcom's horn so loudly. After two 13-episode midseason slots that sometimes fared better in the ratings, the network seemed to be promoting The Odd Couple by giving Season 3 a fall premiere, but then later decided not to order up any additional episodes. Plus, showrunner Bob Daily is also the man behind the upcoming midseason entry Superior Donuts, which would seemingly make it harder to craft a fourth season.
I suppose all we can do is wait for now. CBS might decide to re-shift The Odd Couple back to its winter-to-spring schedule that worked for it before, or it might decide to call it quits and let these actors find work elsewhere. In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what's coming to the small screen soon.