×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC to give ‘Cupid’ another shot

Rob Thomas to resurrect Jeremy Piven series

ABC has been struck by Cupid’s arrow again.

Net has pacted with scribe Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars”) to develop a new version of “Cupid,” the short-lived but well-regarded Jeremy Piven starrer about a man who thinks he’s been sent to earth by Zeus to help out romantically challenged souls. Project is one of two scripts Thomas has in the works via a just-inked one-year development deal with ABC Studios.

Sony Pictures Television, which produced the original skein, has given its blessing to the remake.

“Cupid” lasted only 15 episodes during the 1998-99 season, but it attracted a cult aud and helped establish series creator-exec producer Thomas as a TV player. Scribe said he didn’t intentionally decide to resurrect his first big series.

“For the last couple years, I’ve been talking to ABC about how to do an anthological romantic comedy a la ‘Cupid’ or ‘Love Boat,’ ” Thomas said. “We kept beating around ideas and kept coming back to ‘Cupid’ as the best of the group. So they said to me, ‘Why not go back and do ‘Cupid’ again?”

Thomas said he was “shocked” by the request — in a good way.

“I’m getting a chance to do what writers never get the chance to do, which is to go back and try” to improve a work, he added.

Scribe said that while he’ll write a completely new pilot, “I’m not going to reinvent it. What they’re buying is the show.”

There will be changes, of course.

For one thing, Piven, busy on “Entourage,” won’t be reprising his role. Thomas also wants to come up with a main title sequence that captures the show’s conceit so he doesn’t have to explain it every week.

New “Cupid” will also relocate from Chicago to Los Angeles, allowing for more high-profile stunt casting.

“The plan is to try to hook some really good guest stars every week,” Thomas said.

Original skein also starred Paula Marshall as a court-appointed shrink trying to help Piven’s character work through his Cupid issues. That doctor character will also return, though Thomas still isn’t revealing the answer to one of the skein’s enduring mysteries: Whether Piven’s character really is Cupid or is just a bit nuts.

“If we make it into syndication, this time I promise that I’ll answer the question,” Thomas said.

This isn’t the first time a network’s revived a short-lived show. A few years ago, CBS brought back “Grapevine,” a summer sitcom many believed died too soon. Second go-round didn’t produce a hit, either.

Thomas thinks the stars could be in “Cupid’s” favor this time.

“The zeitgeist is better for the show now, and ABC is a much better network for it now,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of shows that could lead into it.”

As for his other development, Thomas is adapting the New Zealand format “Outrageous Fortune,” a drama about a family of blue-collar criminals, for ABC.

South Pacific Pictures produced the original. Michael Larkin and Michael Goldstein, along with Bruce Cervi and John Lansing (“Walker, Texas Ranger”), brought the project to ABC Studios and will serve as co-exec producers.

More TV

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    WarnerMedia Pulls Out of Audience-Targeting Alliance Open A.P.

    WarnerMedia is going its own way when it comes to helping advertisers find specific groups of TV-watchers. The company, a founding member of the audience-targeting media alliance known as Open A.P., said Friday it would withdraw from the group, citing its desire to pursue its own strategy under owner AT&T. AT&T purchased Time Warner in [...]

  • BLESS THIS MESS - "The Chicken

    Listen: Lake Bell, Dax Shepard on Returning to Broadcast TV With 'Bless This Mess'

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s installment, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, chats with Lake Bell and Dax Shepard, stars of ABC’s “Bless This Mess,” which debuted on Monday. The show centers around a newly married couple, played by Bell and Shepard, who decide to ditch their shoebox New York City [...]

  • superstore renewed season 3

    'Superstore' Showrunner Justin Spitzer Steps Down as He, Gabe Miller, Jonathan Green Renew Overall Deals at UTV

    “Superstore” executive producers Justin Spitzer, Gabe Miller and Jonathan Green have all renewed their overall deals with Universal Television. In addition, Miller and Green will take over showrunner duties on “Superstore” while Spitzer — who also created the series — will shift to develop new projects for the studio beginning with the 2019-2020 season. “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content