Cupid: Six Degrees of Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas gets a second shot at love with the 2009 version of Cupid -- a remake of his failed 1998 TV show sharing the same title.

The series premiered on ABC, starring Paula Marshall as a psychologist treating a man who believes he is Cupid. Trevor/Cupid believes as punishment for his arrogance, Zeus has decreed he must hook up 100 couples before he can return to Mt. Olympus. No one learned if Trevor was indeed Cupid, because the show only aired about 14 episodes, ironically airing the final episode right before Valentine's Day.

Critics loved the series, and particularly Jeremy Piven as the love god. Although it had (and continues to have) a cult following, viewers in general were less excited. This time around, Cupid, which airs at 10:02 p.m., 9:02 Central time on ABC, remains largely the same but with a cast switch.

The rebooted Cupid remains charming for those who believe in the power of love dished out by a slightly daffy guy played by Bobby Cannavale who is attracted to his shrink (played by Sarah Paulson) -- but cannot fall in love with her if he hopes to return to Mt. Olympus. Think better-written The Love Boat or Love, American Style for the real TV buffs.

Those anthology series make us think of the parade of stars passing through and make us realize that there are not many degrees of separation between Thomas and some hot stars doing films, from Pineapple Express to I Love You, Man.

But don't get him mixed up with the singer, although this Thomas did play in some Austin bands.

"I've actually had Matchbox Twenty fans get angry at me for 'using' Rob Thomas' name," says Thomas. "It's not my fault. It's the name my parents gave me."

But here are writer/producer Thomas' connections:

Thomas co-wrote the 1999 movie Drive Me Crazy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier, who played Chase Hammond. Grenier stars in HBO's Entourage as Vincent Chase, who is represented by Ari Gold. Ari's played by Jeremy Piven, who starred in Thomas' original Cupid.

Drive Me Crazy co-starred Ali Larter, who now stars on NBC's Heroes. Kristen Bell played the electric Elle on Heroes after gaining fame on Veronica Mars, which was created and produced by Thomas. Bell also provides the voice of Gossip Girl, which is produced by Josh Schwartz, who also produces the web series Rockville, which stars Ryan Hansen, who co-starred in Veronica Mars.

Hansen also stars in Thomas' Starz series Party Down, which co-stars VM alum Ken Marino and is co-produced by Paul Rudd, who currently stars with Jason Segel in I Love You, Man. Segel co-starred in Freaks & Geeks, which was produced by Judd Apatow, who produced Pineapple Express, which co-starred Ed Begley Jr., who co-stars as Paula Marshall's love interest in Gary Unmarried. Marshall was the original Cupid's Claire, who is now played by Sarah Paulson. Paulson co-starred in the 2007 film Diggers, written by Marino. Paulson also starred in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which co-starred Nate Corddry, who previously worked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The 1998 Cupid also had Laura Leighton as a frequent guest-star. Leighton was in

Melrose Place

, which was a spin-off of the original Beverly Hills 90210. Thomas developed the new 90210, but left to put his attention to the new Cupid.

Hart Hanson co-produced 1998 Cupid, then created and produced Bones, which co-stars John Francis Daley, who co-starred in Freaks & Geeks with Segel, who wrote and starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Sarah Marshall is played by Bell.

In Hollywood, it's all about the connections.