Will the gods at ABC laugh at new ‘Cupid’?

 

Trying to understand the whims and decisions of ABC is not easy. It has a good eye for quality and often takes creative risks while maintaining its core programming strategy, but ultimately some hitch happens along the way and things go sideways.

Although there are many examples of this disconnect, let's focus on "Cupid," which defies F. Scott Fitzgerald's "there are no second acts in American lives" idea by allowing Rob Thomas a second shot on the network with a show of the same name. Yep, in 1998, Thomas created "Cupid," starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, about a man who thinks he's actually the god Cupid, sent down from Mount Olympus as a punishment. His job is to unite 100 couples in true love. Naturally, everyone thinks he's insane and he's hospitalized and eventually diagnosed by a psychiatrist and later put under her watchful care.

The show back then was a romantic comedy with not only heart but quirky humor and a brilliant performance from Piven. When ABC canceled the series before the first season, it quickly became one of those cult shows everyone raved about - killed before its time.

Now, 11 years later, Thomas ("Veronica Mars") is back on ABC with "Cupid," which is essentially the same show, except that Bobby Cannavale ("Will & Grace") is now Cupid, a.k.a. Trevor, and Sarah Paulson ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") is Claire, his psychiatrist. Formerly set in Chicago, the new version is set in New York. Minor tweaks are here and there, but essentially this "Cupid" is the same good idea as the one in 1998.

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