CBS 'Odd Couple' remake brings back comic vet

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CBS 'Odd Couple' remake brings back comic vet
UNITED STATES - JULY 16: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Generic' 1970-1975 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 16: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Generic' 1970-1975 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 16: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Generic' 1970-1975 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 14: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Big Mouth' 9/22/72 Tony Randall (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 16: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Generic' 1970-1975 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 14: THE ODD COUPLE - 'The Pen is Mightier Than the Pencil' 10/6/72 Tony Randall, Elinor Donahue, Al Molinaro, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 14: THE ODD COUPLE - 'The Princess' 9/29/72 James Millhollin, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Felix's Wife's Boyfriend' 9/24/71 Tony Randall, Janis Hansen (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Surprise, Surprise!' 12/17/71 Jack Klugman, Pamelyn Ferdin (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Surprise, Surprise!' 12/17/71 Jack Klugman, Pamelyn Ferdin (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Surprise, Surprise!' 12/17/71 Jack Klugman, Pamelyn Ferdin (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Surprise, Surprise!' 12/17/71 Jack Klugman, Pamelyn Ferdin (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'A Grave for Felix' 10/15/71 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'A Grave for Felix' 10/15/71 Tony Randall, Jack Klugman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'Felix's Wife's Boyfriend' 9/24/71 Jack Klugman, Tony Randall (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 10: THE ODD COUPLE - 'The Odd Couple Meet Their Host' 11/19/71 Jack Klugman, Tony Randall (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
Actors Walter Matthau, left, and Art Carney, right, are seen in a scene from the comedy "The Odd Couple" at the Plymouth Theatre in New York, in 1965. (AP Photo)
Bobby Riggs tries a new kind of tennis game - table tennis - with Billie Jean King during taping of a segment of TV’s “The Odd Couple” in Hollywood on Friday, Oct. 20, 1973. Mrs. King defeated Riggs in three straight sets in their match at Houston’s Astrodome. The outcome of the new game was not immediately known. (AP Photo/Harold Filan)
Actor Jack Klugman poses, June 16, 1978. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Jack Klugman holds his Emmy for his role in The Odd Couple presented at the 25th Emmy Awards Banquet for outstanding continued performance by an actor in a leading role in a comedy series, May 20, 1973, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/David F. Smith)
Jack Klugman, left, and Tony Randall share a light moment during rehearsal for their performance highlight of The Odd Couple for a salute to Neil Simon, Thursday, Feb. 27, 1987, New York. The salute will take place on Sunday at New Yorks Shubert Theatre and will feature many excerpts from Simons plays and musicals and will benefit YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Veteran actors Jack Klugman (left) and Tony Randall, at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, where they are starring in a revival of the Neil Simon comedy The Odd Couple. The pair appeared together in the 1960's TV series based on the original stage play and the film starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon . Photo by David Giles/PA
Television's famed "Odd Couple," Tony Randall, left, and Jack Klugman, right, arrive at NBC's 75th anniversary celebration, Sunday, May 5, 2002, at New York's Rockefeller Center. The festivities, which celebrate America's first broadcasting network, will be telecast live from NBC's Studio 8H. Randall died on May 17, 2004. He was 84. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 1992 file photo, Jack Klugman, left, and Tony Randall laugh at a news conference announcing that they will reprise their most famous roles as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger respectively, for a one-night benefit performance of Neil Simons play, "The Odd Couple", in Beverly Hills, Calif. Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV's "The Odd Couple" and the crime-fighting coroner in "Quincy, M.E.," died Monday, a son said. He was 90. (AP Photo/Craig Fujii, File)
Tony Randall, artistic director of the National Actors Theatre in New York, hails a taxi outside the theater he founded, on Nov. 14, 1991. Randall, the comic actor best known for playing fastidious Felix Unger on "The Odd Couple,'' died Monday night, May 17, 2004 in New York. He was 84. (AP Photo/Marty Reichenthal)
Jack Klugman, left, and Tony Randall share a light moment during rehearsal for their performance highlight of The Odd Couple for a salute to Neil Simon, Thursday, Feb. 27, 1987, New York. The salute will take place on Sunday at New Yorks Shubert Theatre and will feature many excerpts from Simons plays and musicals and will benefit YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Thomas Lennon (L) and actor/executive producer Matthew Perry speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actors Wendell Pierce and Lindsay Sloane (R) speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Wendell Pierce speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Thomas Lennon (L) and actor/executive producer Matthew Perry speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Yvette Nicole Brown speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor/Executive Producer Matthew Perry and actor Wendell Pierce speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Executive Consultant Garry Marshall and actress Yvette Nicole Brown speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Yvette Nicole Brown speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Thomas Lennon speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Executive Consultant Garry Marshall speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actors Yvette Nicole Brown and Thomas Lennon speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor/Executive Producer Matthew Perry speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Thomas Lennon and actor/executive producer Matthew Perry speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - CBS has brought in an expert to help launch its remake of "The Odd Couple" starring Matthew Perry: the legendary producer who adapted Neil Simon's Broadway play into the television series that starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.

Garry Marshall, who went on to create "Happy Days," ''Laverne & Shirley" and "Mork & Mindy," is helping Bob Daily, the new show's executive producer, as a consultant. Cast members say Marshall is on the set each week pitching jokes and telling stories.

Marshall, a neighbor of CBS Corp. chief executive Leslie Moonves, came on at Moonves' suggestion. Daily said he got into the business partly because of his love for the shows Marshall made, so he was happy to have him. Marshall, 80, said a big factor in coming back was that it's being made in a studio close to his home.

"Just to have Garry's endorsement alone was huge," said Perry, who plays Oscar Madison to co-star Thomas Lennon's Felix Unger.

Marshall said he was happy to revisit the show. "It was the first show that I ever did that was a hit," he said. "It kind of made my career."

His involvement was a reminder how times had changed since the original sitcom aired on ABC from 1970 to 1975. In the 1970s, the show had no women writers. Marshall said ABC wanted to have as many women actresses around the two lead characters as possible because the network thought viewers might believe they were gay.

Daily, a former writer on "Frasier," said the concept of "The Odd Couple" is durable and it was time to update it.

"'Frasier' was basically 'The Odd Couple' with one Oscar and two Felixes," he said.

The show is updated for the times - Madison isn't a newspaper sportswriter, he hosts a sports radio talk show - but doesn't rely on old scripts or story lines. There was one exception, with a joke on the show's pilot lifted directly from Simon's play.

"The funniest joke in the pilot was written 45 years ago," Perry said.

Perry brought the idea of a remake to CBS at about the same time as the network had independently been thinking about reviving it, so the timing proved fortuitous. Perry, the "Friends" star whose recent sitcom "Go On" didn't make it past its rookie year on NBC two seasons ago, said he wanted to come to CBS because he believes it knows how to launch shows better than any other network.

"What's cool about the show is we're just trying to be funny," he said. "We're just trying to make people laugh."

The remake debuts on Feb. 19. New Orleans artist Trombone Shorty recorded a new version of the show's theme song.

Matthew Perry Working On 'Odd Couple' Remake

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