When ABC premiered "Cupid" back in 1998, the romantic comedy-drama immediately struck a chord with a small, core viewership as it followed Trevor Hale (Jeremy Priven), a guy who claimed to be Cupid and thought that if he matched up 100 couples he'd be allowed back on Mount Olympus.
His psychiatrist, Dr. Claire Allen (Paula Marshall), a relationship expert who counseled a group of lonely singles, disapproved of his tactics outwardly, but it was always clear she was a little bit intrigued by Trevor.
Despite a "Love Boat"-ish format that relied on guest-stars-of-the-week, Piven and Marshall made "Cupid" rise above its trappings. The show may have had a formula, but the Trevor-Claire relationship felt at least a little new thanks to the actors playing those roles.
"Cupid" lasted only a season. Piven went on to star in "Entourage"; poor Marshall, now in CBS's "Gary Unmarried," got tagged a "showkiller" for appearing in a bunch of terrible series that followed "Cupid."
- Starring: Bobby Cannavale
- When: 10 tonight, ABC
"Cupid" has been revived by the same network and creator, Rob Thomas ("Veronica Mars"), with a new cast playing the same characters. It's impossible not to compare the two casts or to find the new version a pale imitation whose characters don't feel fresh in the slightest, because, well, they're not.
It doesn't help that in the new "Cupid" (10 tonight, WTAE) the actors playing the rechristened Trevor Pierce (Bobby Cannavale) and Dr. Claire McCrae (Sarah Paulson) are no match for their predecessors.
Actually, Paulson is a suitably frosty replacement for Marshall, but Cannavale is too puppy dog. Edgier Piven walked a line between likable and possibly mentally ill; Cannavale takes crazy out of the equation almost entirely. And that makes this "Cupid" miss its mark.