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Like the Paula Abdul song (and plenty of other things) said, “Opposites attract.” And few can attest to that assertion as strongly as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, two classic television, film and stage characters that have spent almost 50 years at odds with one another and still managed to remain friends. The latest iteration of Neil Simon’s classic play The Odd Couple is coming to CBS this fall from Friends star Matthew Perry, who will play the slovenly Oscar, while The State and Reno 911! founder Thomas Lennon will star as the straight-laced Felix. I'm absolutely behind this casting, and it's time for Perry to settle into another series that lasts longer than one season.
There is still trouble brewing behind the scenes, however, as the series’ post-pilot stage is currently fraught with recasting and retooling. For now, though, we can at least take a look at what our two leads will be bringing to the table. (Probably a very messy table, since it’s Oscar’s apartment.) The image seen above encapsulates everything that we need to know about these guys, from an archetype perspective. A poofy-haired Oscar is wearing an unbuttoned shirt over a New York Mets t-shirt, while the flat-haired Felix has replaced his suit jacket for an apron, though he’s still wearing the tie, vest, and shirt beneath it. That’s almost the opposite of anal-retentive, as one would assume spillage may happen on the nicer clothes, but Felix probably doesn’t spill things.
This modern-day retelling sees Felix and Oscar as two former college friends who are simultaneously watching their marriages go down the toilet. Oscar lets Felix move in, which at first seems like a bad decision, but it soon becomes clear that they're able to cope better together than apart. The series will also star The Wire’s Wendell Pierce and Horrible Bosses’s Lindsay Sloane. Get another look at the main duo below.
According to Deadline, actresses Georgia King and Sarah Baker have reportedly vacated the series after starring in the pilot, leaving two female leads without performers. King, star of the short-lived The New Normal, played a model who lived in the guys’ building, while Baker, whose fat girl rant on this week’s Louie was a class act, played Oscar’s assistant who is always having to apologize for her boss’ opinionated views. It’s unclear if those characters will remain written as is or if Perry and the other producers will rethink the roles.
Expect The Odd Couple to bring messy arguments into your home when the series hits CBS with a midseason post-football premiere. Check out the full CBS 2014-2015 lineup here.