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'Daisies' Staff Not Ready to Say Die

November 11, 2008 9:37 PM

Fear not, "Pushing Daisies" fans: If ABC prematurely pulls the plug on piemaker Ned and his posse of peculiar pals, Bryan Fuller is prepared to resurrect his series from the dead.
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UNWILTING 'DAISIES' Executive producer Peter Ocko and creator Bryan Fuller.

"The idea would be to finish out the season's story arcs in comic books" if the on-the-bubble hour isn't picked up, Fuller told a full house at the Paley Center for Media on Tuesday night. He said he hoped his writing staff, most of whom were present for the "Inside the Writers' Room" panel, would be part of the project "to satisfy the fans and ourselves, to finish up the stories we'd love to tell." Warner Bros. Television, which produces the series, is a corporate sibling to DC Comics, which would be the likely publisher, Fuller said. (He also mentioned Wildstorm as a possibility.)

"That would clear the slate for a movie," Fuller added.

"Pushing Daisies" is scheduled to wrap the final episode of its 13-episode order on Thursday, and there's still no word from the network on whether that back-nine order is forthcoming, Fuller said. "It's radio silence," he said. "We ask ABC and they say 'wait and see.'

"We have a great back nine we pitched to the network," he added. "I think they're waiting on a lot of factors," including the ratings, which went up when the show was the lone network entertainment program to air in its regular slot against Barack Obama's half-hour informercial. They gained a million viewers that night, and are hoping to retain at least some of that gain on subsequent episodes.

"If it's our last episode," Fuller said of the one currently shooting, "it's something we can all be proud of."

Although he wouldn't go into great detail, he compared it to the ending of his earlier series, "Wonderfalls." "It sets up a new direction for the series, but it's a satisfying ending," he said, adding, "It's a big game-changer."

Given the many plot strands that have been unfurled this season, the writers had to choose one story to service. "So we chose one to service in the best way possible, and Aaron [Harberts] and Gretchen [Berg] wrote the shit out of a script," Fuller said.

Fuller said that starting with last week's episode, "Dim Sum and Lose Some," they're "shifting the show into a 'Twin Peaks'-ian soap opera." Further evidence of that was given with next week's episode, "Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic," which was screened at the Paley Center. (No spoilers here, except to say that it was one of the funniest episodes yet.)

And speaking of game-changers, both Fuller and his fellow executive producer Peter Ocko applied that description to the writers strike earlier this year. "The long-term effects of the strike have been more detrimental than expected," Fuller said, pointing to a 20% permanent loss of viewers during the 1989 strike and an unknown loss this time around. "The networks have to adjust their expectations of what a success is." (This means you, ABC.)

"What's working is the tried-and-true—procedurals, hospital dramas—and that's scary," he continued. "It doesn't bode real well for the future."

Ocko agreed, saying, "We're at a tipping point. The networks have to lower the bar of expectations."

Striking a somewhat optimistic tone, he said, "Other venues will be more receptive and have more cash than the networks." (DirecTV, are you listening?)

Other tidbits emerged during the panel discussion, moderated by Kristen DosSantos and featuring "Daisies" staffers Aaron Harberts, Lisa Joy, Dara Creasey, Chad Creasey, Abby Gewanter, Jim Gray, Gretchen Berg and Kath Lingenfelter, in addition to Fuller and Ocko:

—Marian the muffin lady from "Wonderfalls" will appear on "Daisies," competing with Ned and Olive in a Comfort Food Cook-Off. "Fox actually had to loan out the character from their library so she could do the show," Harberts explained.

—Fans hoping to keep the show alive or to show their appreciation have sent pies, daisies and daisy seeds to the staff. "And who doesn't like pie?" quipped a writer.

—Asked by DosSantos if there was "any chance of a loophole" that would allow Ned and Chuck to touch (if you don't know why that's a problem, the Daily Blink is amazed you've read this far), Fuller responded incredulously, "Like during an eclipse?" He explained, "I think it's more fun to see the characters overcome an obstacle than to have the obstacle disappear," and enumerated some of the creative ways that obstacle has been surmounted thus far.

—The pitch for the storyline of Emerson Cod's missing daughter came from ... Emerson Cod himself. Shooting one of the early episodes, actor Chi McBride suggested that his character's motivation for becoming a private investigator might be that his daughter disappeared, and he wants to find her. As Berg quipped, "Done!" An upcoming episode will return to that storyline and introduce the mother of the missing girl ... and perhaps more. (The Daily Blink doesn't do spoilers!)

—There will be a soundtrack CD released on Dec. 9, according to Fuller. It will include music from the show's score, and, if they can get permission from various labels, Kristin Chenoweth's duet with Ellen Greene on "Birdhouse in Your Soul," among other songs performed during the show. Fuller also said they're hoping to put songs by the Bangles and Lionel Richie, among others, on a planned season two CD.

—Wendie Malick and Nora Dunn will be the guest stars on a future episode, playing the Aqua Dolls, erstwhile rivals to Lily and Vivian Charles' Darling Mermaid Darlings. Berg described the Aqua Dolls thus: "They swam for Christ and country." Fuller, on the other hand, called them "the Sarah Palins of synchronized swimming." Also in that episode, Wilson Cruz will play "solo synchro sensation Sid Tango," Harberts said.

—There will be an entire episode that's an homage to "Pete's Dragon."

—Lisa D. Horowitz

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Comments (50)

savepdnow:

Great article! Thank you so much for the info on the happenings at Paley. I'm optimistic, I want my Daisies any way I can get it, whether in a 3rd season, movie, or comic. I want it all. ;)

Charles:

The best damn show on television. The most creative, interesting, warm-hearted, subversive, surprising show on television.

Great cast, great writing, gorgeous production design, hilarious plot developments (a monkey who runs over the murderer, synchronized swimming duos named The Aqua Dolls and The Darling Mermaid Darlings, a comfort food cook-off, a perfume expert who lives in the sewers, a private detective who knits and reads pop-up books, a waitress who sings ballads to herself when she thinks no one is looking, etc.), and a little moral to every twisted murder mystery solved.

You better not cancel this show ABC! This is something special.

rhonda:

i can't believe there is talk of ending Pushing Daisies!!! i am hooked and find it creative, funny, and requiring a bright mind (who is brain dead in hollywood, to think of canceling this show)?

Monique:

I love this show so much...there's no other way to say it. I've sent in dozens of letters over our mail-in campaign. Can't wait to get my hands on the soundtracks and I do hope that "Birdhouse in Your Soul" ends up on there! Long live the Pie Maker!!

Josh:

Love the show, most creative writing and style on tv today.

Carlie:

dangit!

Now I'm ever more excited about the new eps! and extra extra needing a season 3!!!!

John Sandbo:

Jeez, Our family finally finds a fun show that we can all watch (kids age 8 & 10) and there is talk of cancellation? "Pushing Daisies" is the best show on television. Please give it a chance to grow. Promo it more. Tell & show how good it is. And.....
I have noticed that many good shows keep being pre-empted. It's hard to keep the audience growing when this happens. "I thought you said it was on Wednesdays at 8/7c?" Well, it was last week"....alright, enough from me. Please keep this great show on ABC!

Matthew:

I can't believe that there is even talk of canceling this wonderful show. It's the most creative, funny, non-conventional television program on the air. I love the quirkiness and the pie-namic between Ned & Chuck. Kristin Chenoweth is amazing. Please don't take my favorite show off the air.

Tim:

It doesn't surprise me that ABC is considering canceling this marvelous show. The networks for years have shown a disdain for imaginative and well written programs. Since Daisies is not a cop, medical or reality program, then ABC doesn't really understand it or why viewers love it so much. The result is to kill it as soon as possible.

Daisy:

Great. Once again, people who enjoy watching smart and creative shows must suffer because the majority of the population prefers boring overdone stupid dramas. Wonderful!

Kerri :

Daisies must stay, Please! It is such a wonderful show! I laugh, I cry...I can't believe what plays out right before my entertained eyes!
I am sooo sick of the same old, same old.....police and hospital dramas or worse "Reality TV"!
They don't sweep me away to a fabulous place and definitely don't make me laugh like daisies does!
It is truly original, and wonderful!
Please...for GOODNESS SAKE, if you won't renew for next season at least have the balls to finish out and air this one! Do something for the fans instead of the almighty bottom line for once!

dumbshow:

this show is dumb.

James:

I love the show. And I'm really excited about the Pete's Dragon episode. What an underrated gem. They should have gotten Helen Reddy to make a guest-appearance. HAHAHA!

Chris K:

Whats upsetting is that Pushing Daisies may be canceled and Knight Rider gets a full freaking season order gah.

Hal Pontious:

I have Tivo'ed and kept every show except #1. When I show them to my friends they wonder why they have never heard of the show - where is the promotion?

Day-z Phan:

Cannot understand why something so amazingly good could come so quickly to an end. Writing so good we'll replay scenes just to hear the dialogue again and again. So I'm hoping, somehow, the ratings pop tonight, the back nine is ordered and there's rejoicing for the second time this month across the USofA.

PH:

i love this show and will miss it dearly, said that shows like this, Veronica Mars, Waterfalls are recognized as great but aren't supported. I think this is were basic cable could really come in.

LSY:

Do ratings not count those of us who tivo/dvr a show?? I've recorded every episode ever aired of this show and watched them over and over again! From what I've read on the net, I'm not the only one either. Listen to us ABC! Stand up for original, feel-good television!!

Ms. Fjordstone:

"Daisies" is currently the best show on television, and "Wonderfalls" was the best show on television when it was on. When will Bryan Fuller get to finish telling one of his terrific stories??

Mel:

I love this show so much i'm not using a fake email adress. Save the show. The world needs more of this witty and laugh out loud sarcastic drama! It's smart, it's histerical and it has managed to combine a supernateral power with pie!!!! It's morbid and yet light, combine that with it's romantic story line and you make it a have to watch. You yern with the characters, laugh so hard you pee your pants,and come away feeling a little more enlightened and in love with life. WHY WOULD YOU CANCEL THIS SHOW?!?!?!?!?!
~Sincerely,
CONCERNED!!!!!!!!!!

Mel (again):

Your promotion does really, really suck though.

Terrika:

Mr. Bryan Fuller,
You have made an amazing show. Unfortunately it is too intelligent for this time-period in modern America. God forbid we have to think. Too bad you didn't make it more sluty, bloody, and brain numbing like all the other prime-time shows, might have got you further with our TV networks.

Mark:

BEST SHOW ON TV! WHAT A SHAME IT'S GONE!

AB:

This is the best show on TV hands down. It's funny, witty, creative. I REALLY hope it stays on the air!!!

Erin:

First Wonderfalls, now maybe Pushing Daisies...add to this Arrested Development and this trio is sure proof that the networks and the general population don't know a thing about quality television.

seriouslythisshowisdumb:

seriously, this show is dumb.

reallyreallydumb:

i am going to have a huge "YAY, PUSHING DAISIES IS FINALLY CANCELLED!" party.

David Sarff:

seriously a very smart show,
this is not a show for "dumb" people...
(go watch "Knight Rider" to see what
"dumb" really applies to)!
a brilliant show for once and of course
they REALLY screwed it up,they keep pre-
empting it and leave the medical, police
and awful reality shows alone.
why do they think that there is no audience
for it, when they continually bump it from
the schedule,they are the one's who are
sabotaging it.
they will run their network into the ground
and there will be no Ned to revive them!
thanks alot, ABC....!

Nicole:

I LOVE this show! I record every episode! please don't cancel it. I have finally found a show that is completely unique and has never been done before.
Every episode is exciting and there are so many questions that need answers. I am a huge fan =) FOREVER!!!

PLEASE try and save this show!!!!


PHONE ABC

(818) 460-7477

MAIL ABC

ABC, Inc.
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4551

AND/OR

Ellen.M.Gonzalez@abc.com
818-460-7185

J:

So ABC, if you cancel this show, what do you think you can put in its place that will be better. Ah, nothing you're busted. Let Daisies either stay or move to another network that can support its fans, such as the NBC Universal cable channel, Sci Fi!!!!

Patrick :

Well, I for one know i will be switching from network tv to comic books if pushing dasies is made in to a series of comic books

Reilly:

I LOVE THIS SHOW! I cannot believe that there is even talk of cancelling it! What the fruit? Sure there are haters out there who claim it's "too campy", well then, I HEART CAMP. I love the characters, the colors, costumes, the darling quirkiness of it all... I am so angry! What are you thinking ABC???!!!! First I was pissed a couple of weeks ago when they didn't show it for 2 weeks one of which they played dancing with the stars instead. Yuck. The other, they aired the country music awards. Double yuck. I cannot believe that shows like ER has had like, 9 seasons or some ridiculous amount like that, while this little gem of a show gets kicked to the curb :(

Mary:

No offense, but a comic book? Do they think the fans of Pushing Daisies are a bunch of twelve year old boys? At the very least, give us a novel. It's sucha shame it's been cancelled. :(

Philip James:

Mary,

You're showing how out of touch, and unimaginative you are, with a statement like that. Today's comic book is not aimed at 12-year olds (sure there are some exceptions, but the average age of the comic book reader is 21, and he/she is college-educated). You are completely out of touch, and spreading a simple-minded stereotype.

A big part of what Pushing Daisies is about, is the visual presentation and, if done right, a comic can bring the visuals out quite nicely.

Tony:

I had become so sick of the same old TV in the UK, until "Pushing Daisies". Witty, clearly different from the usual murder mystery and one I looked forward to each week. I sincerely hope ABC has a major rethink.

Louise:

Please dont cancel this show. Pushing Daisies is brilliant. I have been waiting for series two to be aired in the UK. and before we get chance to see it, I find out ABC has cancelled. Please do a series three. No wonder the ratings go down if the show keeps being taken off scedule. Give daisies another chance.

daisies 4-ever!:

My roommate and I don't have a TV set so we generally do not watch television at all. That said, we do watch pushing daisies literally the day it is posted online. What a WONDERFUL show! I don't know what I'd do without this lighthearted hour full of laughs. When I am feeling down, there is nothing like Pushing Daisies to cheer me up; and the same goes for my roommate! The Piehole is the place to be, don't close it down ABC!

Chad:

I'm going to have to second that retort on your condemnation of comic books Mary. Comic books today are as varied as novels, and the serialized nature of comics would more closely translate the nature of the tv show than your novel suggestion.

Flip through comics such as The Umbrella Academy, Y the Last Man, or the Queen & Country series to see what today's comics are capable of because it is much more than you realize.

That said I would hope ABC reconsiders and orders more new episodes. This is one show that should be given more time to build an audience because it can appeal to such a wide variety of persons but most especially can bring an entire family into the tv room together. And there just aren't many of those around anymore.

Carolyn Harsin:

I can't believe they are considering cancelling a show with the most creative cast and best writing to come along in a long time! It is an escape from the troubles and worries of our lives. Something I look forward to every Wednesday night.

Hailey:

this SUCKS!!!!! i love daisies and DSM...and this is the stupidest thing ABC has done so far... why do they cancel good shows to put on crappy ones??i am so mad!

mark applegate:

I have written so many comments on so many blogs tonight about Pushing Daisies.
Now I am tired, so I defer to Hailey above:
ABC SUCKS!!!

Heather:

An homage to Pete's Dragon ??? I cannot believe they cancelled it before they produced that gem! I was disappointed before, and now I am really distraught. I feel compelled to point out that the creative minds behind this are Generation Xers, the so-called slacker generation. Seems to me whomever the marketing whiz who passes out these labels needs to be fired. I'd be willing to bet the executives who made this decision are Generation Jonesers. Or worse, maybe Millenials!

Tom:

The best show in TV in the last 5 years - easily the best on the air now. How much unimaginative stupid reality TV do we need that dumbs down our society. Artistic imagination, quality acting, great production, and fantastic writing - need a home - not to be punished by "numbers" - that may or may not be better if they make a drastic change.

Save Daisies - p.s. my wife's name is Daisy and she rules too.

Jen:

We do not even own a television, but faithfully watched Pushing Daisies online. I didn't even know that there was anything decent on tv until my sis-in-law introduced us to Daisies. Figures, just when I find a show that is worth following, they get rid of it!

Jen:

By the way, I hope they make a movie! I don't ever go to the theater (except for Harry Potter), but I think I would go for Pushing Daisies.

Su:

I am so depressed that the pieman isn't coming back...it was absolutely the funniest, quirkiest, brain tingling show on the air. I was on the edge of my seat every week, waiting to see how the episode would turn out. I set my cell phone calendar to remind me every week so I would never miss it. My teenage grandaughters loved it. We would laugh and cry together.
Damn. Double Damn.

Fuelbot:

@Mary: Comics aren't for 12 year old boys anymore. Honestly, some of the best and most original stories being told right now are coming from comics. And that has nothing to do with superheroes. Anyway, Pushing Daisies would never work as a novel. We need to SEE the colors.

mark:

Best show ever, I am very saddened to see it end..please bring it baaaaaaaack, please!!!!

Daisyfan:

I own season one on DVD and have been watching episodes again and again (as if I haven't already memorized them all) and I have been trying to find out why ABC cancelled it. My only plausible theory is that they are sadistic. When the episodes first aired, my eyes were glued to the screen. The amazing cliffhangers kept me thinking about the show all week. There is NOTHING BAD ABOUT THIS SHOW. The plots are complex, yet simple in an almost Sondheim-esque way. The dialogue is witty and almost every line is quotable. The costumes, the scenery, the make-up, the props, the special effects are all mind-blowingly amazing. And then, to wrap it all up, the acting is great enough to match. Ending this fantastic show leads me to believe that the book buring of Fahrenheit 451 is not far off. I will be watching the final three episodes in a cult-like way, but I will continue to hope that there is more on the way.
And a note to ABC: this is the ONLY program I watch on your network and I own the season one DVD's & CD and will do the same for any future seasons. I know that I am not the only one.
Also, Seinfeld, an incredibly popular show, was not really successful until well into it's fourth season. GIVE PUSHING DAISIES SOME TIME!!!

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