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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 }

disappointed June 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Such bs,., was dying for season 3


bianca June 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm

omg, i just finished season 2 watched the last episode an thought omg cant wait for season 3 so i looked it up on the net :( im devo i cant believe this abc go to HELLLL bastards :(


Carole January 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Finally there was a show with some wit, some great banter, a fun story line, fast moving so only the intelligent amongst us could keep up with it. You actually had to pay attention to the dialogue or get left in the dust…No wonder it’s been cancelled!!!
What a great shame…the story line was imaginative, the charactors a lot of fun, the premise clever…I for one will miss the show, it was really funny….


Daniele December 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

Even though English is not my first language, I am Italian, I have watched both Seasons of PD and I loved the refreshing, heart warming, funny approach to entertainement offered by Fuller with his imaginative TV serial. It was about time that TV show something without explicit sex, foul language, drugs usage, etc,etc. Obviously in this pathetic world filled with hate, something like Pushing Daisies could not last too long.
I am very sorry it is now over. Hopefully it will sold also outside the US so other people can appreciate what a wonderful show this was.



David November 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I understand ABC’s decision. I just DON’T understand how the show failed to hold an audience. It was funny, interesting, the dialogue was original and visually it was groundbreaking. I just on’t understand why audiences are ignoring this in favor of contrived swill like America’s Got Talent, Desperate Housewives and Re-Makes of 80’s and 90’s TV shows that were not that good the first time around.


edward concar September 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

absolutely brilliant ,although really off the wall humour. probably not related to by most americans, who want in your face , slapstick humour. completely original in its’ concept and execution. watched by people who know what is important tv and ignored by the rest. sad to see the execs at ABC fall into the latter catergory. get a life guys. it’s not all about ratings, is it?


donna August 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm

please dont cancel pushing daisies, it’s great. you always cancel the good ones.


Jessica August 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I guess only the unimaginative shows with several copycat shows can survive! As a 27 year old widow I found their story to be uplifting and original and something to help me through the day. Something that would help me laugh again. Sorry to see it go!


Emma August 19, 2009 at 6:22 am

When a show as imaginative, addicting and as absolutely beautiful and heart-warming as Pushing Daisies is cancelled, it makes you wonder just what is wrong with ABC to make them take it away from those who have come to depend on the wonderful feeling it gave them! They could have at least let the storylines play out so that we could find out what happens with Ned’s and Chuck’s dads, the pocketwatches, and pretty much everything else! I hate ABC!! :(


Rebecca August 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I loved this show soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!! Lee Pace is sooooo cute and a really good actor. This show was soooooo addicting. Chi Mcbride is hilarious!!! Kristen Chenoweth is only 4 11 but a whole lot of fun!! Anna Friel is sooooooo awesome and a really really good actress!! I LOVE this show!!!!!!!!!


Jordan August 2, 2009 at 9:58 am

The first season’s dvd has been lying around my house – I don’t know where it came from, but I am ABSOLUTELY hooked! It is a great show and ABC would be cruel not to put more shows on!!! Pushing Daisies is exceedingly amazing..


jen July 26, 2009 at 7:25 am

I am very sad that this show has been cancelled. The writing was brilliant, and it was a visually stunning show to watch. Bring it back Bring it back Bring it back!


MAD AT ABC July 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Will not trust ABC to bring good shows anymore. We loved Pushing Daisies and miss it very much.


PARIS July 9, 2009 at 11:07 am




Evy June 23, 2009 at 8:14 am

I can not believe Pushing Daisies was cancelled!! This is horrible. You have shows out there where parents can not sit and watch with their kids and a show like this one that was one we could watch with our kids gets cancelled? How can ABC think that is good? I liked that I could watch this as a family and both the kids found it entertaining for its bizarness and visually striking imagary and I loved it for the sense of humor it had and I did not have to feel awkard for watching something that made me laugh but was inappropriate for my kids. ABC I am very disappointed in you!!


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