We have big news regarding one of my all-time favorite programs, but first a little Daisies for Dummies.
The facts were these… 6 years, 4 months and 20 days ago, a television show by the name of Pushing Daisies premiered on ABC. One year, 8 months and 14 days later, the last episode aired.
Only 22 episodes of Daisies were created, yet it remains a fixture on many people’s list of Shows That Were Cancelled Too Soon. The first season consisted of only 9 episodes, having been cut short by a lengthy writer’s strike. Although the ratings in that season were high, the show was unable to maintain its momentum when it came back for its second season. While ratings weren’t bad, they weren’t where they were in the first season, either. In addition, the high cost of producing the show due to heavy use of special effects helped the network decide to pull the plug.
For those who are unfortunate enough not to have heard of the show, the plot is this: Ned the Piemaker (adorably played by Lee Pace), owner of The Pie Hole, has a special gift — he can bring people back from the dead. This comes in handy when his P.I. buddy Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) has a murder case he’s being paid to solve: just have Ned touch the corpse, bring the murder victim back to life, ask them who did it, and Emerson and Ned split the reward. Of course, on the show it’s never that easy.
One caveat to Ned’s gift is that if the formerly dead corpse isn’t touched again to snap them back to their eternal rest — within one minute — then someone else has to die. So when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart Charlotte (Chuck) Charles (Anna Friel) back from the dead for good, well, there are consequences for someone else who just happens to be nearby. Not to mention, Ned can never touch Chuck again or she’ll be dead… permanently.
Kristin Chenoweth co-stars as Olive Snook, waitress at The Pie Hole, along with Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene as Chuck’s aunts.
Pushing Daisies is part comedy, part romance, part murder mystery, and part fantasy, and Bryan Fuller is simply a writing genius. Some episodes are available online for free, but last time I looked the first season’s eps weren’t among them. That’s a shame, because the pilot (titled Pie-lette) is one of the best episodes of the series. You may have to resort to downloading them via Amazon or wherever, or going the DVD route. (The commentary on the DVD is priceless, btw.)
For the last couple of years Daisies fans have been hearing that Fuller had been trying to get a PD movie made, but it felt more like wishful thinking than something that would actually come to pass. But now it looks like we may finally see that movie made, plus Pushing Daisies The Musical is also a possibility! Kristin Chenoweth, who has been tearing up Broadway since PD ended, sang on several of the episodes, and Ellen Greene did some singing as well. Not sure whether Lee Pace would be in for the musical, but he did prove he can sing when he did Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day with Amy Adams (if you don’t believe me, listen to If I Didn’t Care on iTunes).
According to E! Online’s article here, Fuller has been talking with Warner Bros.’ Barry Sonnenfeld about the possibility of a movie and/or the musical. I’m thinking long-suffering Daisies fans deserve both! I’ll be looking for confirmation that one or the other is actually going to happen before I have a slice of Triple Berry a la mode to celebrate.
BTW, Pace previously worked with Fuller on the cult favorite Wonderfalls.