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"Pushing Daisies": ABC Loves It, ABC Loves It Not
October 22, 2008  | By David Bianculli


Let us pray... for ABC's Pushing Daisies.

Last year, this delightful Bryan Fuller concoction was the best new show of the season -- but it was a short season because of the strike, and ABC opted to stockpile episodes and return this fall rather than resume last spring. Big mistake.

Pushing Daisies has lost a significant portion of its audience since coming back this month. Last week's episode didn't even make the overall Top 50. But creatively, the show is as charming as ever, and as excellent. If anyone is dropping the ball in this equation, it's ABC.

One reason: ABC is presenting a new episode of Pushing Daisies tonight at 8 ET. Maybe that's considered counter-programming -- but when there are only so many episode left in the show's 13-episode order, it feel more like burning off an episode, when stockpiling might make more sense. (As opposed to last spring, when it didn't.)

Another reason: I've been watching carefully, and prime-time ABC promos for Daisies are almost nonexistent these days. Pushing Daisies airs on Wednesdays, but on last night's Eli Stone, there wasn't one promo for Daisies. Nor was there one on Monday's Boston Legal, or on Sunday's Desperate Housewives -- all shows with sensibilities similar to Daisies, where you'd expect promos to be run.

And finally, a third reason it's fair to fear ABC has given up on one of its best shows: The network hasn't yet ordered any additional Pushing Daisies episodes beyond the initial 13. Even the horrifyingly awful Knight Rider has gotten a full-season order from NBC this week.

If NBC can embrace utter crap that fervently, why can't ABC show some love to its sweet-smelling Daisies?




Shauna said:

I pretty much knew when I started watching this show that it wouldn't last. It seems that any interesting, creative programming that I immediately fall in love with gets taken off the air after one or two short seasons. I'm starting to feel like that's just a mark of quality! (Are you sure you're not a TV critic? -- David B.)

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 8:44 AM

Patrick said:

If Pushing Daisies goes off the air, it is yet another sad example of an intelligent show failing to gain viewers while largest common denominator shows proliferate. Maybe if ABC can't support creativity and quirkiness, a cable network could take over, and Pushing Daisies might continue despite the odds. It seems more and more that cable is the platform for new creative shows. Whether HBOs Sopranos, Showtimes Dexter, USAs Psych, or AMCs Mad Men, cable networks are strides ahead of their broadcast counterparts.

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 9:57 AM

Curtis said:

It sounds goofy but we watched the first couple of shows and decided it wasn't all that interesting. It's almost too much unreality/bright colors/edwardscissorhands. Houswives, BL and Stone (even taking the hallucinations into account) have a kind of relationship to reality that Daisies doesn't.

It's good that ABC took a chance on something different and it's a nicely produced show but we just weren't all that enthused with it and we don't even have satellite or cable to distract us.

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 10:31 AM

Davey said:

Charming? If you like huge doses of sugar syrup and Hallmark cards, I guess. The show started with an interesting premise and then just kept repeating and repeating and repeating the same old scenarios. Peronally, I won't be subjecting myself to that plummy, moralistic voiceover (ala Housewives again. Daisies belongs on the weekday AM schedule along with the rest of the cloyingly "charming" kiddie shows. Good riddance.

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 11:15 AM

Adam Bomb1701 said:

ABC wouldn't know a quality series if it bit them in the hind quarters. Don't forget - they're the network that didn't support their superb divorce drama "Once and Again", moving it around seven times in its three seasons, and then cancelling the series 19 episodes into its third season.

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 1:53 PM

Markie said:

Both Curtis and Davey are missing the point. Its a magical reality and yet not . The cartoon aspect might be off-putting for some, but I found it to be rewarding in fun characters and laughter it is satisfying in a way that no other TV show (particularly last season) has been. And what show DOESN'T repeat its formula?. I knew it was doomed last year. Why? Because I liked it. Like I liked New Amsterdam. Or Jericho. Or Studio 60 On Sunset Strip. I think its all MY fault. I like it...it's TOAST!!!

Comment posted on October 22, 2008 7:17 PM

MeinGewehr said:

Shauna and Markie are right on the mark(sorry Markie).
Remember Showtime's Dead Like Me? Another victim of the race to mediocrity.
I will mourn the loss of Daisies but remember the good times...
It is a sign of where things are going that Survivor is stil on the air.

Comment posted on October 29, 2008 1:58 PM
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