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Pushing Daisies: Essentially Cancelled or Is There a Still a Chance?

Pushing DaisiesLast season, Pushing Daisies became the critics’ new darling TV show. The quirky drama attracted a lot of attention and was nominated for a dozen Emmys. Last Spring, the show was given a second chance at life. Will it receive a third?

Pushing Daisies tells the tale of Ned (Lee Pace), a pie-maker who’s able to bring people back from the dead with his touch. However, if he touches the person a second time, they’re dead for good — a fact that keeps him from embracing his formerly-deceased sweetheart, Charlotte “Chuck” (Anna Friel). Because his baking work isn’t very lucrative, Ned goes into business with a private-eye named Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) and they solve cases where only the deceased have the answers. Others series characters include Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), a waitress at Ned’s bakery; Chuck’s mother, Lily (Swoosie Kurtz); Chuck’s bizarre Aunt Vivian (Ellen Greene); and the series’ all-knowing narrator (Jim Dale).

The unique and lighthearted drama debuted on ABC on October 3, 2007. It attracted a lot of press, over 13 million viewers, and a 4.3/13 rating/share of the desirable 18-49 demographic. The second episode dropped to 10.3 million and a rating/share of 3.7/11.

The series’ viewership continued to decline in the next several weeks, dropping as low as 7.5 million and 2.3/7. In December, following a rebroadcast of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas special, episode eight attracted almost 10.2 million viewers and a 3.8/9. The additional viewers didn’t stick around for the following week and Daisies dropped to a series low of 6.85 million and a 2.4/7 in the 18-49 demographic.

Episode nine ended up becoming the last episode of the season because production was interrupted by the infamous writers strike. Had the disruption not happened and the ratings trend continued, the show would never have been renewed for a second season. But, likely because of the show’s good press, unique creative voice, and ABC’s limited selection of new shows for the 2008-09 season, Daisies was given a second chance for life in May 2008.

Rather than produce new episodes for season one, the network execs decided to relaunch the show in the fall. It was a risky strategy that hasn’t worked out for any of the network’s second year shows. With the show’s ratings history, were they hoping that the audience would treat it like a new show?

Daisies’ second season ratings picked up where the previous season’s decline left off, debuting to just 6.32 million and a 2.0/6. Subsequent episodes dropped to a low of 5.55 million viewers. The most recent episode spiked to 6.64 million and a 2.2/6 but that’s still a very meager performance compared to other shows.

Should Pushing Daisies be cancelled?

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This week, the cast and crew will finish production on the last of the network’s 13 episode order for season two. Sadly, it’s almost certainly Daisies’ series finale. The network is not expected to order any more episodes and ABC told producers to treat episode 22 as the series ending. For the network to consider ordering any more episodes, a couple of million people would have to miraculously start watching the show. Pushing Daisies is one of those shows that has very devoted fans, just not enough of them.

ABC has a mid-January deadline to decide on the show’s fate. If they don’t exercise that option, series creator Bryan Fuller is likely to move over to Heroes. NBC execs fired two producers from the troubled show last week. Fuller recently said, “If Daisies isn’t picked up by [mid-January], I will definitely be going back to play with my friends at Heroes.”

Whether or not Daisies will receive an order for additional episodes seems to be a done deal. The more immediate question is whether or not ABC will air all of the episodes that have been produced. With the show’s declining ratings, it’s very possible that the network will soon pull the show from the schedule.

On the upside, fans will sooner or later have some closure. If all of the episodes aren’t shown on TV, the second season is almost guaranteed be released on DVD within the next year. It’s not a third season but it’s certainly better treatment than fans of other shows have been given. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

 

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy November 26, 2008 at 12:40 am

Well, don’t just pout… Watch Tomorrow! That way they get their ratings (or tape it if you’re on the road… hopefully that would work too.)

Watch it LIVE tomorrow (and any future episodes), watch it on abc.com, download it on itunes, buy/rent season 1, get your friends to watch it LIVE…. etc

We can complain on message boards all we want, but it’s clear that the only way we can change their minds is by giving them high enough ratings.

PS. Reposting the link for http://savedaisies.com/

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Cadie November 23, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I find the cancellation of Pushing Daisies to be a real dissapointment. Since I have started watching it, its always been an attracting show and has always kept me wanting to see the next episode and kept me anxious to find out what happens next. I mean lets face it, Pushing Daisies has been better than all the trash on the other shows. Its always been pretty much a very decent show. I would prefer they cancel another show but its up to them I guess. But as soon as they do cancel it they will find out what a huge mistake they made taking a good thing that was very much liked.

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PISSED OFF November 21, 2008 at 4:31 am

I love this show. I may cry if it ends. It has talent and a HUGE amount of charm, but avoiding the cutesey factor. Well, maybe not entirely but whatever. Shut up.

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Dee November 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I’m hoping for at the very least another short season or just something. It’s a real shame, this is my fav tv show on right now. ABC hardly gave it a chance to gain its fanbase cutting it off until Fall after the writer’s strike, giving it one of the smallest rooms at Comic-Con and leaving long periods between eps. *sigh* Well, still glad we got it at all.

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Barbara November 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Sadly I kind of supsected this would happen when they only gave us what would have been the rest of season one for this season that they call season two. It sucks and happens all too often. It’s like you have to go in with the thought that if you really enjoy a show that the odds are good that it will be cancelled. It’s just such a shame since Pushing Daisies is a really great show.

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S. November 17, 2008 at 8:00 am

This is a variation on the usual euphemism, “been put on hiatus”. We all know what that means, in a couple of months they add “permanent” before hiatus. It will still never have been officially canceled… That doesn’t mean that they will ever be another episode done, just that networks rarely cancel shows. They put then on hiatus.

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Ceolmhor November 14, 2008 at 10:47 am

It just figures. Cancel a great show (with heart) like “Pushies Daisies” and keep that-train-wreck-of-a-show “Heroes” on the air. Don’t get me wrong, I used to loooooove “Heroes,” but it doesn’t know which end is coming or going anymore.

“Pushing Daisies,” on the other hand, is sweet, charming, well-acted, smartly-written, and…oh wait, there’s the problem, it’s smart. Same thing happened to “Firefly.”

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miles November 12, 2008 at 9:27 pm

I suppose if we can get enough people demanding the show stay, then perhaps it will.

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Judy November 12, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Once again CBS has something good that they just throw away. This show was original, quirky and the cast was amazing.

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Carlie November 12, 2008 at 12:18 am

I’ll just die without Pushing Daisies! It’s such a wonderful magical show……its a shame that some people can’t appreciate that!

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Kevin November 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm

First of all Bryan Fuller has not made any decision to go to Heroes….so don’t start predicting the future. CAUSE YA KNOW WHAT!!!!

Pushing Daisies will get renewed and will survive long enough for us all to see the end how it was meant to be.

:)

-Kevin

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Jeremy Petar November 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I have to agree. I think rumors of a third season are totally wishful thinking on somebody’s part. A network like ABC doesn’t renew a show with that sized audience. Of all the things that you suggested to do to help the show, you didn’t mention getting more people to watch it — the only thing that networks are really interested in.

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angie November 11, 2008 at 11:15 am

sophie,
cmon, with all due respect, the possibility of a third season pickup sounds ridiculous. look at the ratings, which is what the networks care about. its losing viewers. why would abc renew it? it’s a pretty good show but its dead in the water. sorry.

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Sophie November 11, 2008 at 11:03 am

There are rumours from inside Daisies going around that PD will get a third season instead of a back-nine order and will start production again in May for the fall season.
I am fine with that as long as we get more episodes.
To save Pushing Daisies please visit this website: savedaisies.com, sign the petition, participate in the mail-in to ABC, send daisies to ABC, but please do something. All the ways to show your love for the show are on the website; savedaisies.com

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Davin Peterson November 11, 2008 at 10:04 am

I read on the Defamer blog that someone on the set of this long struggling show says it has baked it’s last pie, in other words the show is done.

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