ABC Gives Cupid Another Shot


ABC has made a deal with writer 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.

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

“Cupid” lasted only 15 episodes during the 1998-99 season, but it attracted a cult audience and helped establish series creator-executive producer Thomas as a TV player. Thomas 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.

The original series 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 series’ 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.