The Odd Couple: What the Critics Are Saying…

Well, after a less than triumphant return from its NCAA imposed hiatus, CBS has yet to announce whether The Odd Couple will make it on to the Fall 2015 schedule. Apart from losing three million viewers from before and after the hiatus, The Odd Couple has received overwhelmingly mixed reviews, leaning towards the negative side. In order to take a closer look at the reviews for The Odd Couple, I have consulted the online review aggregator, MetaCritic (

According to MetaCritic, The Odd Couple has received 20 mixed reviews, 5 negative reviews and 1 positive review. Based upon the reviews of 26 professional print critics, MetaCritic has given The Odd Couple a score of 42. Here are some highlights from the critics:

Newsday’s Diane Werts best shared my sentiments, writing “Their [Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon’s] Odd Couple feels like the kind of time-filling time killer that’s chasing viewers to other options.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jenson wrote, “There is a kind of bad show that might be the saddest kind of bad show. It’s the show that strands talented actors known for being funny on a sitcom that isn’t funny at all.” This confirms a number of the reviews which seem to feel that The Odd Couple has all of the elements of a successful series, but they all fail to come together in the end.

TV Guide’s Matt Roush, also felt that the show is an example of mediocrity, “There’s not a lot to love in this strained, often deafening update of the Neil Simon perennial.”

Therefore, coupled with the critics’ reaction and the low ratings, it looks like CBS should replace The Odd Couple with something that has more originality and substance, as well as the potential to become another 10 year-wonder like How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.

The End of The Slap

The Slap finished this week with 3.13 million total viewers, a number mostly on par with the rest of the season. The episode seemed to wrap everything up nicely. The slapper received his punishment, the parents of the slapped child were taught a lesson and, in a time jump, they all learned to coexist. For a show called The Slap, it doesn’t seem like there is anywhere to go from here. Though one of the producers of the show was holding onto hope that there would be a season 2, it looks like that is not going to happen. According to, NBC has confirmed that Thursday’s episode was its last. The mediocre ratings could just not justify continuing with the show. Plus, with a Metacritic score of 62, it wasn’t exactly a critics’ darling that could score the network any prestigious awards.

The Slap has been through a lot of criticism in its 8 weeks. It’s hard not to argue the show’s wasted potential. With such a great cast, big names behind the scenes and the support of NBC, this show could have been a very interesting turn for the struggling network. Instead, it filled its episodes with wildly unlikable characters and became yet another one season wonder. In this day and age, it is always possible this show will find new life elsewhere (i.e. Netflix, Hulu) but I highly doubt it has that kind of dedicated fan following.

The Slap-By The Numbers

Since its premiere, The Slap has enjoyed modest ratings. It dipped a bit when it changed timeslots, but for the most part, it has stayed pretty consistent between 3 and 3.5 million viewers with a 0.7-0.8 rating. However, these are not the only numbers that matter. The show has benefited greatly from L+3 viewings. For 2 weeks in a row, The Slap saw a 51% increase in viewers with L+3 numbers. This meant that it gained 1-1.1 million viewers with this delay. In this era of changing viewing habits, these are not numbers that should be ignored.

The show also has a 116 index of adults living in homes with $100K incomes. This upscale audience is likely to bring in desirable advertisers for NBC, which could be a contributing factor as to why the show hasn’t gotten cancelled. If the network is making money from advertisers, they won’t worry as much about the modest ratings.

The Slap–New Timeslot

Following the cancellation of another new show, AllegianceThe Slap moved to NBC’s 10 pm timeslot on March 12th. This perhaps would have been the slot to start off the show, not to move it to halfway through the episodes. Due to its slightly risque subject matter and somewhat explicit scenes, the 10 pm slot makes more sense for the miniseries. The change also led to a drop in the already low numbers. The show lost over a million viewers when it aired at 10. Perhaps this is also because NBC didn’t properly advertise the change. I only knew about it because I read the trades and am looking out for news about the show. I never saw any advertisements informing viewers that the show would now be on at 10. These ratings also seem to indicate that there is little to no chance of a second season. Since it has been dubbed a miniseries, NBC will likely air the remaining episodes but that will be all we see of The Slap.

The Odd Couple: Critical Reaction

In last week’s blog post, I took a look at the ratings for the February 19th premiere of The Odd Couple. This week, I’m examining the critical reaction. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess, as the critics were mixed. However, many of them added that regardless of the quality of the show, The Odd Couple has a 50/50 shot of being renewed for a second season. As a fan of the original version of The Odd Couple, I find the new version to be lacking the original spark that made the Tony Randall-Jack Klugman incarnation so entertaining and successful.

In his review, Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Jensen eloquently hit upon the problem with the revamped version of The Odd Couple, “There is a kind of bad show that might be the saddest kind of bad show. It’s the show that strands talented actors known for being funny on a sitcom that isn’t funny at all. The Odd Couple has Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, Yvette Nicole Brown, Dave Foley and more. You’d never know that they’re perfectly capable of making you laugh if you hadn’t seen their previous work, because their current show is, again, not funny.”

In the end, only time and the numbers will give us certainty on The Odd Couple’s future, but with a general overall feeling that it is just mediocre fare, it looks like it won’t be joining its CBS predecessors, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men as a runaway hit.

The Odd Couple 3: The Premiere Part 1: A look at the Early Numbers

The CBS revamp of the 1970s classic sitcom The Odd Couple premiered last night and its newest incarnation came in more with a whimper than with a bang. Sandwiched between CBS hits, The Big Bang Theory and the series finale of Two and a Half Men, it did well ratings wise, but the viewership is sure to drop off as the weeks go by. Looking at the preliminary Nielsen numbers, CBS dominated and so did The Odd Couple which served as a hammock for CBS’ 8-10 pm comedy lineup. Looking at the key 18-49 demographic, the night started off with The Big Bang Theory which notched a 4.4 rating with a 15 share and had 17.4 million viewers. At 8:30 the premiere of The Odd Couple garnered a 3.1 rating, a 10 share and 13.57 million viewers. Sitcom night on CBS ended at 9 pm with the hour-long season finale of Two and a Half Men, which got a 3.1 rating, a 9 share and had 13.20 million viewers. The ratings for CBS slipped further with Thursday night’s concluding show, Elementary, which aired at 10pm and received a 1.5 rating, a 5 share and had 8.05 million viewers. On the whole, CBS won the night with 12.206 million viewers; its closest competitor, ABC had 8.813 million viewers. Critical reviews have been mixed and it will be interesting to see if the numbers for The Odd Couple will hold up and if it’s time slot will keep it on the air long enough to connect with viewers.

The Odd Couple: The Story Behind the Theme


With less than one week to go until the premiere of the revamped version of The Odd Couple, there is one big question that is on everyone’s mind: Are they keeping the original theme song? Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is a two part answer. While the new CBS revamp (premiering Thursday, February 19th at 8:30 on CBS/WTVH), will retain the classic and oh-so-catchy Neal Hefti theme music, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that it will have a (new) New Orleans blues-jazz arrangement. In his February 12, 2015 article, Dave Walker writes in The Times Picayune that trombonist Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews’ updated version of the Hefti theme is “a slinky trombone driven take on the Hefti tune.”

The new sixty second version is available online and after listening to it, while it does maintain the Hefti theme, it loses the big band sound that the original version had. However, it does have a more modern sound, which may appeal to younger viewers, but I am still partial to the original version of the iconic theme. Therefore, I guess we will just have to wait until next Thursday to see if the new version of The Odd Couple and its new theme are accepted by the 2015 TV audience and critics.

Have a listen to the new arrangement of the theme: