Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Return Of 'Cupid'?

A decade ago, ABC premiered one of the most creative and whimsical series it has ever aired when "Cupid" debuted in 1995.

Created by a pre-"Veronica Mars" Rob Thomas and starring a younger Jeremy Piven, it was witty and romantic and definitely unlike anything else airing at the time.

It lasted 15 episodes.

So, it was with mild surprise yesterday when I read a report that ABC and Thomas were talking about reviving the series for next season. Generally, when shows get re-made, the originals usually made it through a whole season before.

But ABC and Thomas think that the planets will align this time around for the dramedy, which starred Piven as Trevor, either the de-powered god of love, banished to Earth by Zeus for not doing his job, or a former mental patient who thinks he's the de-powered god of love.

Paula Marshall played Claire, the shrink assigned to his case who wrote a romance column in her spare time.

Piven has since found tremendous success playing Ari Gold on "Entourage," earning several Emmy nominations in the process, and said in the article that his schedule on "Entourage" wouldn't allow him to reprise his role as Trevor. In addition, Thomas is looking to re-boot the whole thing.

So it's kind of a good news/bad news deal. "Cupid" made for great TV (even if no one watched), but without Piven, it's going to be difficult to recapture the same sort of magic from the first time around.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Any time Jerry Seinfeld returns to TV, it's big news, and he does a great caricature of himself tonight on the season premiere of "30 Rock." (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) The episode itself is a bit uneven, as Liz (Tina Fey) is still dealing with her breakup and Tracy (Tracy Morgan) is kicked out of his house, but the stuff between Seinfeld and Jack (Alec Baldwin), who is computer-generating Seinfeld's image into every show on NBC's schedule is hilarious. And, God help us, you know some network will be looking at the possibility of "MILF Island" after tonight.

It's preceded by "My Name Is Earl," (NBC, 8 p.m.) and followed by an hour-long "The Office" at 9 p.m. and "ER" at 10 p.m.

One of my favorite series on TV kicks off its third season tonight, when "Supernatural" (CW, 9 p.m.) returns following an all-new "Smallville" at 8 p.m.

My parents found last week's debut of "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 8 p.m.) too much of a downer, but for me, it just carried on some of the things I didn't like about last season's finale. I'm hoping with the Santos storyline pretty much wrapped up, the writers will be bringing the funny back tonight. Speaking of unfunny, it's followed by "Grey's Anatomy" and "Big Shots."

CBS delivers new episodes of "CSI" at 9 p.m. and "Without A Trace" at 10 p.m., both following a new "Survivor."

NBC's experiment of shifting "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" to its sister network begins tonight (USA, 10 p.m.) It will be interesting to see how many viewers will follow the show after the move.

And, speaking of cable, "Mad Men" (AMC, 10 p.m.) begins to enter its home stretch with a new episode tonight.


Jonathan said...

"Pushing Daises" scored big last night taking out all of its competition fairly handedly. Thank God. Hope it keeps it up because I agree with every word you said in your review. Hell, I might even like it a little better. Hopefully, Fuller can live up to all the promise the pilot laid out for us.

Never watched "Cupid" when it was on, but I've heard how good it was from everybody that did. I'm curious to see how the updated version works out if they decide to go forward with it.

zodin2008 said...

I guess ABC's promotion machine must be high fiving if "Daisies" is a ratings monster. I haven't seen it yet but I hope I like it if it's going to win it's time slot.

I never did watch "Cupid" but then again, 15 years ago, I wouldn't have appreciated the show considering my age.

This is totally out of left field, but I wonder if the unemployed Tom Cavanaugh (star of NBC's "Ed" and CBS' "Love Monkey") might be an ideal fit for a role that you described Piven had?

Phillip Ramati said...

I haven't seen the overnights yet, but it's good to hear Pushing Daisies did so well.

I'm not sure if Cupid is out on DVD, but I'd highly recommend it if it is.

Once an actor makes a role his own, it's hard to imagine another actor doing it. It's not a knock on Cavanaugh to say I can't see him in the role; it's that I can't see anyone but Piven. I mean, if Thomas were to bring Veronica Mars back, you can't imagine the lead not being Kristen Bell.

Phillip Ramati said... is now reporting Pushing Daisies scored a 9.2 rating/14 share for its debut (nearly 13 millon viewers), easily winning the timeslot.

zodin2008 said...

Well, now I really hope I like 'Daisies''.

My sadness is for the likeable (but yes, not amazing) "Back to You".

It appears that "Daisies" killed that the most. The shows I loathe, the awful Reality stuff at 8 PM on NBC ("Deal or Howie Man-deal")or even worse, "Kid Nation" on CBS. Ideally, "Back to You" would finish at least 2nd.

At least "Deal" is helping a new show I like, "Bionic Woman", though I have concerns that Bionic's week #2 numbers were way down. Also of concern is that "Criminal Minds" was way up - I thought that boring beast was finally going to be killed off. My mistake.

Phillip Ramati said...

Criminal Minds no doubt got a boost with all the publicity surrounding Mandy Patinkin's departure, and will probably maintain it at least for a couple weeks with the arrival of Joe Mantegna, but whether it sustains it after that is anyone's guess.

This early on, ratings will constantly fluctuate for any show as viewers get settled into viewing patterns.