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Pushing Daisies gets a full season; three more scripts for Carpoolers

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 23rd 2007 4:59PM
Pushing DaisiesSome interesting news coming out of ABC today, one of which is a surprise, the other of which isn't:

First the non-surprise: Both TV Week and Kristin Dos Santos at E! Online are reporting that Pushing Daisies has been picked up for the rest of the season. That means 22 episodes of non-contact cuteness from Ned and Chuck. Ratings for the first three episodes have been solid, and -- at least based on the fun third episode -- worries about how the show might operate with budget restrictions have been so far unfounded.

The surprising ABC news: The former Ms. Veitch is also reporting that three more scripts have been ordered for Bruce McCulloch's Carpoolers, bringing the total order to 12 episodes. Despite the pedigree, the show hasn't been all that impressive so far either in quality or in the ratings. This makes me wonder if ABC is ordering more scripts in case there's a writers' strike.

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I have been watching "Pushing Daisies," and while it is very good, it is also very weird and I honestly don't see how it will be able to maintain a mainstream audience over a large number of episodes. It is so far out of the mainstream, I can't see it lasting very much longer -- although now that it's got a full season, maybe some change will happen, I don't know. Is it just me or are Chuck's aunts completely superfluous? Why are they regulars on the show? Not knowing who were designated as "regulars" while watching the pilot, I assumed that the aunts were just guest stars.

And thank goodness ABC is recognizing the value of "Carpoolers!" That is a very funny, very underrated new show. I am laughing throughout most of the half hour at this excellent new comedy. I would place it among the best new comedies of the season, along with "Aliens in America" ("Back to You" is fun to watch, thanks to its stars, even if it is very predictable). So what if the Gracen character is a thinly veiled imitation of Steve Carrell on "The Office"? "Carpoolers" really stands on its own so far and it is a riot that has broken away from its expectations of being a mediocre show that won't last too long. For those of you who are comparing it to the awful mess that is "According to Jim," I suspect that you haven't even seen it, and I would highly recommend that you do so!

The only problem for "Carpoolers" is that it is in the second half of the hour, and its lead-in is the perfectly awful "Cavemen." If they were switched, I bet "Carpoolers" could get a bigger audience. As for "Daisies," as I said its biggest weakness is its weirdness factor, which is so strong it's almost off-putting at times. That said, I love the color-saturated pictures in that show. Looks amazing in HD.

October 24 2007 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

According to Nielsen, showing it when it first aired, and showing it again later in the week counts. That pumped up the Heroes series premiere as well. Neilsen ratings are also taking into account DVR viewings as well.

October 24 2007 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd like to know where that "23 million people watch the pilot" number came from? Because if it came from ABC it's called they are lieing. I saw that commercial and it was a lie, simple as that. It was 23 million if you combined the first airing of the pilot on Wednesday and then the second showing on Friday, with Tivo repeats. The pilot was only watched by 13 million people, that's a third of what American Idol gets. The second episode was watched by 10 million people, and the third even less than that.

But nice try with the spin, maybe ABC will give you a job.

Source... http://www.tvtracker.com/daily_ratings.php

October 24 2007 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm really glad for Pushing Daisies. It's a fantastic show that has such a unique and different feel to it, I love it. The casting on that show has been spot on. I love the visual style of the show and the dialogue is great but my only concern is, are they spending TOO much money on the special effects. I realize it's part of what makes the show so unique, but I wouldn't mind seeing more scenes in the Pie Hole that were purely dialogue driven and less scenes with fancy effects.

Carpoolers is getting a meeeh from me. It's not bad but it could be better. It's got a great premise but there's just something missing... that ... IT thing, you know?

October 24 2007 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will, do we know that The Class was cancelled? I thought it was coming back maybe mid-season??

October 24 2007 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad about PD also! Love that show - and we really haven't gotten into Chuck's aunts or the Chenoweth character that much yet. You don't cast Swoozie Kurts to sit on a couch wearing an eye-patch. There's lots of good stuff to come.

The PD premiere was watched by something like 23 million viewers. Those are American Idol-like ratings. No one expected it to maintain that audience level. A one -third drop means that now about 16 million viewers watch. Not too shabby. When initial ratings for the premiere are so through-the-roof, losing a third of its audience sounds a lot worse than it is - and it's pretty much expected.

This is what's posted on The Futon Critic about PD ratings for last week:

ABCs "Pushing Daisies" Wins its Third Consecutive Week Across Key Adults, Outpacing its Closest Competition in Wednesdays 8pm Hour by 19% in Adults 18-49
$$ka-ching, ka-ching$$

I think there was a huge curiosity factor for PD's premiere which blew the ratings through the roof. Now that they've settled down to "normal" the show is still a big hit. And most importantly it's a hit in the most lucrative demographic for the network.

October 24 2007 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've watched Pushing Daisies so far, and I've tried to like it, but it's just too far out there for me. I like more 'mainstream' humor ( is that the right term?) I'm really enjoying The Big Bang Theory and How I met your Mother. I am glad to see Daisies got the season order, though, because a lot of folks on this and other boards have said that they're really liking it. It's nice to see the network keeping something people like, for a change. I still don't get why they cancelled The Class last season, there was a lot of interest in it, too, but they canned it. Who knows how they think anyway.

October 24 2007 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad ABC is putting some faith into Carpoolers. I really like it - which kind of surprised me. Considering that Cavemen is the lead-in, I think it's done quite well.

I love the older son still living at home; and seeing only the legs and feet of the black guy's wife is a hoot - even at the party.

October 24 2007 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yay for Pushing Daisies! That is fantastic news!

October 23 2007 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now all ABC needs to do is pickup Dirty Sexy Money for a full season order, even if they move it to the Big Shots time slot, its a great show.

October 23 2007 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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