Though it seems almost certain that ABC won’t be ordering any more episodes of Pushing Daisies, Bryan Fuller, the TV show’s creator wants to assure fans that the colorful story isn’t over yet.
Pushing Daisies tells the quirky tale of a pie-maker (Lee Pace) who can bring people back from the dead, his previously-deceased girlfriend (Anna Friel), his detective partner (Chi McBride), and a collection of other colorful characters played by Kristin Chenoweth, Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Greene and Jim Dale (the show’s unseen narrator).
The series debuted in October 2007 and, despite sagging ratings, Daisies was renewed for a second season. ABC hoped the show would catch on with a larger audience. It hasn’t and, despite some critical raves, Daisies has only averaged six million viewers each week. The show’s biggest night this season came when it aired opposite Barack Obama’s infomercial on three other networks. The show has been off the air since October 29 and won’t return until next week. That episode isn’t expected to fare any better than the rest since a hiatus typically hurts an already ailing series.
Last night, at an “Inside the Writers’ Room” panel held at Los Angeles’ Paley Center for Media, series creator Fuller, executive producer Peter Ocko, and most of the show’s writers gathered to talk about Daisies. Those on hand included Gretchen J. Berg, Chad Creasey, Dara Creasey, Abby Gewanter, Jim Gray, Aaron Harberts, Lisa Joy, and Kath Lingenfelter. Quite naturally, the series’ uncertain fate was front and center in everyone’s mind.
Fuller said that there still hasn’t been any decisions from the network about their intention to order additional episodes to fill out the season. He said, “We have a great back nine we pitched to the network. I think they’re waiting on a lot of factors.”
The last episode of ABC’s current 13 episode order is being shot this week and the network told the team to use it as a possible series finale. Because there are so many ongoing Daisies storylines, the writers had to choose which one to focus on. Fuller said, “So we chose one to service in the best way possible, and Aaron [Harberts] and Gretchen [Berg] wrote the sh*t out of the script.” Fuller hinted, “It sets up a new direction for the series, but it’s a satisfying ending. It’s a big game changer… If it’s our last episode, it’s one we can all be proud of.”
If Daisies isn’t picked up, Fuller has plans to continue the series as a comic book. As fans may remember, a comic based on the show was distributed at 2007’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. Fuller wants the show’s writing staff to be part of the project that would satisfy fans and finish telling the stories the creative team wants to tell. The Daisies creator says that the project would likely end up being published by DC Comics (home of Batman and Superman) or DC’s publishing imprint, Wildstorm.