CBS finds love match for ‘Cupid’

Producer takes on relationship, reality show

Craig Piligian is playing matchmaker for CBS and Simon Cowell.

Veteran reality producer (“Survivor”) has signed on as exec producer and showrunner for “Cupid,” the Eye’s summer reality skein from “American Idol” judge Cowell. Skein, which has an 11-episode order, is a relationship show that will combine elements of “Idol,” “Sex and the City” and “The Bachelorette” (Daily Variety, Jan. 14.)

Piligian, who heads up his own Pilgrim Films and Television shingle, will produce for Cowell’s S Entertainment and FremantleMedia.

CBS alternative topper Ghen Maynard, who had worked with Piligian on “Survivor,” set up a meeting between the producer, Cowell and Fremantle.

“I was excited about the format they had come up with for the show, and they embraced the kind of longform storytelling I wanted to do with the series,” Piligian said. “We work well together.”

Producer said he hopes to bring out both the drama and the humor in the show, which will initially follow a single woman and her best friends as they try to find true love for the bachelorette. When the group of guys is whittled down to 10, the show will go live and allow viewers to eliminate a different man each week.

“Because our show will be live, there’s going to be that little extra surprise in every episode,” Piligian said. “We’re going to try to throw the guys off with some things. That will make our show a lot different from some of the other dating shows.”

Most recently, Piligian created and exec produced the TBS skein “Worst-Case Scenario,” a weekly series from Sony Pictures Television based on Quirk Books title of the same name. Before that, he co-exec produced the first three editions of the Eye’s reality hit “Survivor.”

He continues to produce the reality skein “American Chopper” for Discovery Channel.

UTA-repped Piligian’s upcoming small screen projects include the Showtime pilot “Etiquette for Outlaws,” which is being produced with Howard Stern and Piligian’s manager, Alan David. Piligian has also teamed with CIA expert H. Keith Melton to write “The Spy’s Guide: Office Espionage,” a how-to book for cubicle dwellers that hits bookstores in September.

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