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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

was ‘Pushing Daisies’ cancelled so Bryan Fuller could return to ‘Heroes’?

What? Of course not! Who would think such a thing? Crazy conspiracy people, that’s who. Line your hats with some tinfoil, crazy conspiracy people! Pfft! Was Pushing Daisies cancelled so Bryan Fuller could return to Heroes indeed.

Look, just because, on November 7, almost two full weeks before the cancellation of Pushing Daisies was announced, Bob Sassone at TV Squad revealed that “Bryan Fuller will return to Heroes (IF Pushing Daisies isn’t picked up)” doesn’t mean that’s why Daisies was cancelled — we all know it’s all about Daisies’ poor viewership numbers. There’s no reason at all to read anything into Sassone’s disclaimer:

Please, Pushing Daisies fans, please note that I say IF. I even put it in capital letters!

And there’s no reason at all to read anything in Sassone’s enthusiasm for the idea:

Heroes needs a kick in the rear to get some buzz again, and getting Fuller back (he did a lot of the great first season episodes that got us hooked on the show in the first place) would be very cool.

Nor is there any real reason to doubt that Kofi Outlaw (not his real name, I’m assuming) at ScreenRant is speaking from mere fannish anticipation, and not from any actual insider knowledge gleaned from attendence at a meeting of, say, the secret cabal of NBC and ABC executives convened to elevate Heroes at the expense of Daisies when he claims “Coming Soon: The Return Of ‘Heroes’ Greatness”:

NBC has recently demonstrated just how committed they are to righting all that is currently wrong with Heroes by firing two of the shows top producers. Now the network hopes to continue steering Heroes in the right direction again, by bringing back one of the show’s most popular writers and introducing new plotlines that will hopefully return the show to its focused, coherent, former self.

If you don’t recognize the name Bryan Fuller, here’s a quick reminder: He’s the man who scribed what is arguably Heroes‘ greatest episode to date, the classic story of H.R.G.’s shadowy past, “Company Man” (Heroes 1.17). Fuller also has some pretty strong sci-fi roots, having written episodes for Star Trek spinoff shows, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Last year, Fuller created the ABC comedy Pushing Daisies, which has since been canceled despite strong reviews from critics and a loyal (if small) audience following.

(It’s true that “Company Man” is the greatest episode yet of Heroes, and not just because it features Christopher Eccleston in a prominent role.)

Outlaw then quotes from an EW interview with Fuller and explains his (Outlaw’s) approval of Fuller’s ideas for revamping the show. Notice that I said, “an EW interview,” not “notes from a secret meeting of the cabal of NBC and ABC executives convened to elevate Heroes at the expense of Daisies.” Duh.

Come on! The shows are on different networks! Daisies is on ABC and Heroes is on NBC. ABC and NBC are locked in mortal corporate competition. It’s complete nonsense that they’d engage in the kiss of cahoots for anything, never mind when ratings are involved. It’s utter ridiculousness to suggest that ABC, which is owned by Disney, could think it worth sinking its most original show so that NBC, which is owned by GE, could benefit. Just because the site Heroes.com named Walt Disney one of its heroes doesn’t mean there’s any reason for Daisies/ABC/Disney and Heroes/NBC/GE to get into bed together. Just because ABC decided to run Daisies against Barack Obama’s late-October half-hour prime-time infomercial — and saw a ratings boost because of it, as “6.6 million viewers chose pie over politics (a no-brainer!), a 14 percent increase from Daisies‘ audience [the previous] week” — doesn’t mean defense contractor GE, which presumably has all sorts of ins at the White House and in the incoming administrator, has any hold over ABC.

Come on! That’s just nutty.

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  • Branden

    I keep hoping that its not official, and Pushing Daisies could still come back, (even though its been a foregone conclusion ever since its clever off beat pilot).

    The hardest thing for me, as I watch every perfect little episode as it airs, is that we won’t get a proper ending. They’ve introduced such wonderful possibilities and questions, and it won’t get the resolution the show rightly deserves.

    Le sigh.

    It seems wonderful TV shows only exist to break our hearts when they get canceled.

  • Phil Urich

    Two things. For one, Pushing Daisies seems like a prime candidate for a movie; oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m outright weeping about the cancellation, but while there are tons of shows that get canceled before their time (I’d go as far as to say that it’s the majority), despite how “a movie!” so often seems to come up as the Plan B for finishing shows I’ve rarely seen a show that would be as well-suited to a big-screen big-budget version.

    Now, to be fair, I’ve yet to hear anyone chatter in that direction with Pushing Daisies (and that might actually have to do with Bryan Fuller returning to Heroes, if only because it means he’ll be busy for the foreseeable future), but allow me to officially start that rumor right now.

    My second point is that people who think Pushing Daisies was canceled for the sake of Heroes are the new 9/11 Truthers.

    It seems wonderful TV shows only exist to break our hearts when they get canceled.

    Just wait ’till February when Dollhouse premieres on Friday evenings and Terminator moves into the death slot with it. Just when you thought FOX couldn’t outdo itself, they prove us wrong: get TWO shows canceled at once! I actually started out as a skeptic of Terminator, but this second season has just gotten better and better in the last few episodes, astonishingly literate for an action show and with some outright gripping plot movement and surprises. Not to mention the brilliant 1920s historical mystery of the most recent episode! Which of course makes me go “yup, it’s going to be canceled”, since out of all the hour-long shows I’ve liked in the past couple of years (

  • Phil Urich

    Ack, somehow hit the post button before I was done writing that. (Hmm, so “quote” as an HTML tag didn’t create the quote tag…”cite” maybe?)

    Anyways, I was going to list all the hour-long shows I’ve liked in the past few years that were canceled, but man, even the past few weeks there have been tons . . . and out of all of them, I had always assumed Pushing Daisies would be the last to go, it just seemed like the kind of show that no one could dislike. If a show like Pushing Daisies can’t stay on the air then there’s really no hope for network television. No surprise that so many of the shows worth watching these days that haven’t been canceled (oh My Own Worst Enemy, how cruel of you to turn out so much better than your premise would suggested only to get canned 9 episodes in!) are ones that play on Showtime and HBO (Dexter, Californication, True Blood, etc).

  • Jerkbutt

    It’s more likely that Fuller was being so vocal about moving onto Heroes as a means of putting pressure on ABC to make a decision about Pushing Daisies. They were getting down to the wire and they hadn’t said one thing or another (in fact, they still haven’t officially said “canceled”). Fuller was making it clear that if ABC didn’t want his genius, he had other places to go.

  • I’ll miss Pushing Daisies, but I am so glad he’s returning to Heroes.

  • JoshDM

    Heroes should have died off. Better shows have been killed for less.

    Was last night’s ep. the last episode of Pushing Daisies? Who knew the final revealed character would be so… tan?

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