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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 }

Anonymous May 31, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I love pushing daisies!!!! I will miss it so much.

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cinda May 20, 2009 at 12:14 am

I love, love, love pushing daisies – i get giddy watching the show and it is an instant pick-me-up. It broke my heart when it was cancelled! i just might buy a bunch of fake daisies at micheals and send them one every day as a form of protest

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4tui May 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

NOOOO!!!!!!! IM A DIEING FAN OF PUSHING DAISES! LIKE IF THE SHOW SAYS JUST OFF A CLIFF, Oh! I WILL! ALL MY FAMILY MEMBERS WATCH IT AT THE SAME TIME AND WE JUST CALL AND SAY,” DID YOU SEE THEM? OMG NED SO CUTE!,” AND NOW WE CANT!!! LIKE WHAT HAPPENED TO DEAD LIKE ME AND HEREOS! BOO ABC!!! U KILLED MY LIFE!! WAIT, DID I SAY ABC STINKS? YEA! BOO ABC!!!!

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RB May 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm

why do loads of shows in America get cancelled? when they arent even half bad.

Dunno how many will agree.. because I suppose it depends more on taste and what you like.

But in recent months there been “Kyle XY, Pushing Daisies, Terminator – Sarah Connor Chronicles (possibly), and in the past shows like Star Trek: Enterprise.

They are/were popular shows.. people even supposedly raised 3 million to try and save Star Trek Enterprise.

In the UK we all get hooked on these great american shows.. then they just get cancelled:(

Why cant we make anything decent to watch like these shows here?
Everything pretty much is american.

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Bern April 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I’m a die hard fan of Pushing Daises. You’re probably asking, how? This might sound crazy but when i was in labor, i insisted on watching Pushing Daises first before we went to the Hospital. Thats how much im devoted to the show. It saddens me that such a great show gets canceled like that so easily. I hope that theres more people like me out there, that would like to bring back the show.

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FRANK April 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm

i think pushing daisies is amazing, american tv shows are great and usually last for quite some time , but no there best one yet comes out and gets cancelled because american fans pretty much suck what about the shows fans in the UK do we get to see ALL of season 2 or not ?? (good friday is it finished???)

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VICK April 10, 2009 at 6:49 am

This is the only show on tv that i can watch with my kids. What is our country coming to when we would rather sit down together and watch people kill and have sex with 20 different people. On top of all that, the show is GREAT. ABC should keep it.
What a mistake……..

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Rory_23 April 3, 2009 at 8:52 am

I used to have the greatest respect for american tv series and for the taste of american viewers. Now I don’t anymore. I don’t know who is to blame for this disapointing change.

I haven’t watched the other shows but Pushing Daisies is an extremely brilliant and tastefull show. If they can’t see that, then I really don’t know what to say.

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diana April 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

omgggggggggg pushing dasies is a great show know me and my mom have no together time we use to wach pushing dasies and know we can’t.

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Amy January 30, 2009 at 11:31 am

What does this mean for the viewers in england? itv is starting the 2nd season tonight ive waited forever for it, have all 22 episodes been filmed and will we get to see them? i wanna show full support for the cast and crew of pushing daisies on behalf of the UK

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Cris Blakely January 18, 2009 at 11:23 pm

PLEASE DON’T CANCEL – ABC – PLEASE – I LOVE THE FACT THAT YOU SNATCHED SCRUBS FROM THE GRAVEYARD AT NBC.. BUT PLEASE – YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOW IT FOUR TIMES A WEEK!!! IT HAS BEEN ON FOR EIGHT SEASONS, AND HOPEFULLY ALREADY HAS AN ESTABLISHED AUDIENCE. IF YOU WANTED TO GIVE PD A CHANCE, SHOW IT ON ALL THE EMPTY AIRTIME YOU AND ALL THE OTHER NETWORKS NOW HAVE BECAUSE OF LUNKHEADED DECISIONS BY NET EXECS – LET IT GET AN AUDIENCE PLEASE!!!!

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CLM2134 January 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Easy to blame poor ratings for the show’s failure – but it is quite clear that CBS has never invested marketing, cross-promotional or web resources to building the Pushing Daisies franchise. Look at the major shows out there – the marketing has been all about cross-promotion and franchise extension. CBS just doesn’t get it.

When compared to the market and ratings for other behemoth shows – yes – it clearly doesn’t measure up. Easy to blame the show and concept for not building a Hero’s market – but a CBS broader, cross-channel strategy could have done more to continue the magic. Case in point – if the franchise is so weak and ratings so dismal – seems strange that there are so many whispers of a movie option for the story and characters.

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annoyed December 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Oh my gosh! they CAN’T cancel this show! there have only been a few episodes. OF COURSE the ratings wouldn’t be very high! Watch Pushing Daisies EVERY week! I am so bummed they are trying to cancel it! Do anything you can to save Pushing Daisies!

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Loz December 10, 2008 at 5:04 am

Truly shameful that a positively unique and clever show like this would be dumped. How’s that for quality programing?

Can we get a petition together for this please!????

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How Lame November 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm

This is an outrage damn it! This show can not be cancelled, it would be the most shameful thing. What a waste of a good show.

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