Cupid: Is the ABC Remake Doomed Already?

CupidIf you ask a TV aficionado for shows that were cancelled prematurely, they’ll likely include ABC’s Cupid on their list. Only 16 episodes of the 1998 series were created before the show and stars Jeremy Piven, Paula Marshall, and Jeffrey D. Sams were pink-slipped. In October 2007, with the possibility of a writers strike looming, ABC announced plans to remake the series.

The new version of Cupid takes place in New York City and centers around Trevor Pierce (Bobby Cannavale), an energetic bartender who believes that he’s actually the Roman god of love, Cupid. He’s been booted from Mt. Olympus and won’t be allowed back in until he brings 100 couples together. He ends up under the care of psychiatrist and self-help author Doctor Claire McCrae (Sarah Paulson). Not surprisingly, Claire’s work typically focuses romantic relationships. Her philosophy of true love focuses on building a friendship while Trevor views love as heat and passion. Other regulars include Rick Gomez and Camille Guaty.

In March of 2008, the network gave a greenlight for a pilot and in August ordered 13 episodes. The new version would air as a midseason replacement. With Rob Thomas (the original show’s creator) at the helm the network seemed in love with the idea of reviving the cult favorite.

Of the new Cupid and other shows ordered at that time, ABC’s president of Entertainment, Stephen McPherson, said, “We’re excited about these series and feel they’re perfect additions to our dominant core slate of shows.” For whatever reason, ABC’s enthusiasm now seems to have waned.

Cupid’s initial episode order was for 13 installments. In December, the network announced that Cupid would be premiering midseason but later than expected, on March 24th. Execs also quietly cut the show’s season order to just eight episodes. The official line was that the network wouldn’t need as many episodes because of the late premiere. The unofficial buzz was that the execs weren’t crazy about what they were seeing.

Will you watch the new Cupid?

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Now, ABC has pushed the premiere a little further back, to March 31st. They’ve also trimmed the episode order to just seven installments. The network again cites the schedule change as the reason for the reduction. Our friend Jace at Televisionary says that a contact at ABC Studios has indicated that the real reason was a disagreement over storylines.

Whatever the cause, the end result is the same. Cupid’s season has been drastically cut, to a number that’s less than half of the 1998 original. It hardly seems like ABC has much confidence that the show will be a hit or that execs will have much patience with it. Unless it’s an immediate hit, it will surely be pulled before the May sweeps period begins.

One of the biggest frustrations from fans of the original show was that we never learned if Trevor was actually Cupid or if he was just crazy. If this remake doesn’t make it past the initial seven episodes, viewers will be left hanging once again.

Sadly, it seems like ABC is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy with this remake. Is there any compelling reason why viewers should even give this show a chance?

Canceled and renewed TV show

11 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. kelly sue says

    I am so bummed, I was loving this show and bam, what happened? I am saddened… please bring this show back.. thanks for listening.

  2. Obloodyhell says

    Well, since they only gave it three eps before replacing it with “The Unusuals”, I think it’s safe to say that ABC has almost certainly screwed Cupid a second time.

    I’m really getting tired of watching “new” shows and having them cancel them before they have any chance. I’m getting closer and closer to an inviolate policy of NEVER watching ANY new show until it’s been on for a half-season or more.

  3. Amber says

    This is one of favorite shows ever. I really hope it isn’t canceled. It’s the perfect thing for the kind of economy. People need to escape and this is the perfect thing.

  4. says

    No, don’t cancel the show! ABC, please realize that people are actually watching it, and writing on the message boards. We care! Don’t destroy the one thing that makes single people like me happy =)

  5. VJ says

    Am I the only one that spotted Tom Cruise in the scene at the bar? Please someone else let me know if you did too?

  6. Smokin' Cat says

    Two compelling reasons to watch the show, for me anyway:
    – Rob Thomas — I love his productions (the original Cupid, Veronica Mars). Quality writing and interesting characters, though he seems to keep getting screwed over by network execs. I guess the execs aren’t interested in quality, just ratings and cheap production costs (i.e. ‘un’reality shows).
    – Sarah Paulson — terrific in Studio 60 (another unfortunately cancelled show), it’ll be a pleasure to see her in a series role again.

  7. Lehyneghy says

    they should have just brought paula marshall and jeremy piven back and had the show be a continuation

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