In late 2007, ABC was looking around for new shows to develop for the 2008-09 season. Because there was a possible writers strike coming that would hit right in the middle of their development time, they had to work fast. As a result, they decided to revive one of their old shows that starred Jeremy Piven, Paula Marshall, and Jeffrey D. Sams.
The short-lived Cupid from 1998 was regarded as a quality show and often landed on critics’ “brilliant but cancelled” lists. Most of today’s audience wasn’t very familiar with it and the series’ creator, Rod Thomas, was willing to give Cupid another try. Development got underway once the strike was over and Bobby Cannavale, Sarah Paulson, Rick Gomez, and Camille Guaty were hired as regulars.
Flash forward several months later and the network’s enthusiasm seemed to have waned quite a bit. ABC delayed the new Cupid’s debut and cut back its initial episode order from 13 to eight installments. While many loved the original, reception to the remake by critics has been tepid.
Last night, ABC’s new Cupid debuted in last place for the 10pm timeslot. It attracted an average of 7.56 million viewers and a 2.3/6 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. Almost 50% of the people who were watching the Dancing with the Stars lead-in decided not to watch Cupid. On top of that, 25% of the audience stopped watching midway through the premiere episode. That’s not good news for this show at all and unless some miracle comes down from Mt. Olympus, the ratings will be even worse next week.
While it seems likely that ABC will let Cupid finish its short episode run, right now its highly doubtful that the remake will outlast the original. We won’t be seeing a second season or get any kind of resolution to the show’s ongoing storylines.
Unless Thomas decides to reveal the truth about energetic Trevor Pierce — is he really Cupid or not — we’ll likely never know.
Image courtesy ABC.