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cultural vandal | 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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