The Odd Couple

ABC (ended 1975)




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The Odd Couple

Show Summary

If comedy thrives on contrasts, The Odd Couple offered a perfect situation. Felix was a prim, fastidious photographer, a compulsive cleaner; Oscar was a gruff, sloppy sportswriter for the fictional New York Herald, to whom a floor was a place to toss things. The conflicts were obvious and endless, as each upset the other's way of life. Frequently seen early in the series were Oscar's poker partners, notably Murray the cop, Speed the compulsive gambler, and meek Vinnie. Later supporting characters included Dr. Nancy Cunningham, who would treat Felix and date Oscar, Miriam Welby, a girlfriend for Felix and Myrna Turner, Oscar's secretary. Introduced in the second half of the first season, the memorable opening narration (intoned by William Woodson) went: "On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down he knew she was right. But he also knew that someday he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Sometime earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?" By the second season, the "childhood" reference was deleted and the narration was eliminated entirely in the fourth and fifth seasons in favor of clips from earlier episodes. 114 color episodes were filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. This show never ranked above #25 in the Nielsen Ratings, even though it went as high as #36 in the 1972-73 season. Primetime time slots that The Odd Couple held during its 5 year run: September 24, 1970 to January 14, 1971: Thursdays from 9:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. January 22, 1971 to September 7, 1973: Fridays from 9:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. September 14, 1973 to January 11, 1974: Fridays from 8:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. January 18, 1974 to September 6, 1974: Fridays from 9:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. September 12, 1974 to January 23, 1975: Thursdays from 8:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. January 31, 1975 to July 1975: Fridays from 9:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. The Odd Couple was based on the Neil Simon stage play and the 1968 movie of the same name. Simon has said Felix was based on the life of his own brother. Time-Life released the first season on DVD on August 18, 2006.moreless

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70s, Sitcoms