After bringing us the quirky death dramedy 'Dead Like Me,' and just before the resurrection dramedy 'Pushing Daisies,' Bryan Fuller co-created, along with Todd Holland ('Sons of Tucson'), another odd little show for FOX. 'Wonderfalls' premiered in March 2004; the tale of a young woman instructed by animal-shaped figurines to help people in need.
Much like his other shows, the whole atmosphere and presentation of 'Wonderfalls' was tailored to create a magical world just outside our own. Gritty realism certainly wasn't the goal.
Unfortunately, a serious lack of network patience led to 'Wonderfalls' getting canceled after airing only four critically acclaimed episodes out of thirteen produced. But those four hours left an indelible mark on the loyal viewers who did find it, and the series message of hope resonates as powerfully today as it did then.
The drawback to seeing McBride on so many tours is that he's always there with a new show to promote. Because he's able to handle drama and comedy with equal ease, he's cast in a lot of pilots. The problem is, most of the resulting shows rarely last more than a couple of years. In the last six years, since his four-season run on 'Boston Public' ended, we've seen McBride in 'Killer Instinct,' 'The Nine' and 'Pushing Daisies.' Now he's co-starring with Mark Valley and Jackie Earle Haley in the FOX popcorn-action series 'Human Target.'
I sat with McBride as he held court at FOX's all-star party in Pasadena last month. As he puffed away on an Opus X -- he offered me one and I very reluctantly declined -- we talked about which of his roles he misses the most, and how he does his running scenes on 'Target.' Let's just say he doesn't waste too much film on those.
I don't think we've had a home-shopping network-based scripted show (of that, I'm probably wrong). At the least, it's unique. Then I saw that Bryan Singer was directing. Okay, interesting. Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) is set to write? Sold!
The series, based on the book of the same name, was originally optioned for film, but now is being expanded for television. The bottom line is that the book is bizarre and funny; it features alcohol and drug abuse, marital affairs and other twisted things among its mostly female cast. Fuller excels at weird hour-long comedy-dramas, and this material sounds like a perfect fit for him.
Of course, many of the questions had to do with The Jay Leno Show and Ben Silverman's departure. What the gathered reporters got out of the two executives was evasiveness, referrals to other executives, and a general sense that the two of them either don't know or don't want to provide answers about their own network.
When the question of Leno and CBS's Nina Tassler's assertion that NBC would declare victory no matter what numbers they got, Bromstad tried to pass us to the session for Leno's show later in the day. Telegdy did the same. But we wouldn't let them off the hook. An example exchange, for instance, went like this:
Laura Hudson of sister site ComicsAlliance talked to Fuller at Comic-Con about what's in store for Pushing Daisies after it moves from TV to print, and after he mentioned an interest in superhero comics, she asked if he had any interest in writing superhero comics himself -- and he responded with an enthusiastic "yes!"
Since he's already got the hook-up with DC Comics, who knows what might be in store? Check out Fuller (after the jump) reading a copy of "Wednesday Comics" next to dapper DC VP of Publicity David Hyde, and check back for the video interview CA conducted with Fuller for more.
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"I think that a Star Trek TV series is probably a couple years away, just to let the feature franchise breathe," the Pushing Daisies creator said, adding that any new Trek series should take place in the universe seen in J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie.
Fuller said a new Trek series shouldn't focus on the Enterprise crew – he thinks the Federation flagship should stick to the big screen – but on a new ship with a new crew and "an entirely new adventure."
No, ABC is not even mentioning bringing Daisies back. They're not even committing to broadcasting the last few episodes. But Kristin Chenoweth thinks Pushing Daisies might be a movie. That's right, the show could/would/should be wrapped up as a movie in her estimation.
While casting isn't usually a huge deal by itself, with the way Heroes has been received this past year, any move on the beleaguered show is being scrutinized. People are cautiously optimistic that Fuller can reinvigorate the show, though why those people weren't watching Daisies if they loved him so much I'll never know. And with a cast as huge as this, any addition is also scrutinized. Of course, for now this is a one-episode appearance, but Fuller has indicated it's being written in such a way that she could return.
I'm sure that many of us could go round and round over the quality of the episodes in this latest chapter of Heroes. If you're following along with the weekly reviews, you've no doubt seen it play out in the comments. The thing that is a little harder to argue is the ratings. Over these last few months, the one time flagship NBC drama has seen its numbers drop to drastic levels. Put another way, if Heroes was a space ship, and dropping ratings signified an increase in speed, the show has gone plaid.
Look, this isn't my first time at the rodeo. I knew going into this last year, that the chances of a quirky fairy tale about death having long-term success were slim-to-none. I've seen the signs; I've known that this day was going to come. That doesn't mean that I couldn't hope that ABC would decide to keep Pushing Daisies; my favorite new show from last season. I've held out hope, and today, that hope was dashed. What's worse, is I can't even focus all of my anger on ABC; some of it is pointed directly at Daisies creator, Bryan Fuller.
I'm trying to be mature and diplomatic about this, but seriously: Bryan Fuller can suck it.
I would have used a headline like "Pushing Daisies is living up to its name," but Joe Adalian of TV Week sort of beat me to it...
According to Adalian, it looks like everyone's favorite cutsey-poo / maudlin-as-hell detective show, Pushing Daisies, will be stopping production after it wraps its thirteenth episode this week. But that doesn't mean it's dead. ABC may extend the options on the major players in order to re-launch the show next fall, but that's a costly longshot on their part.
So, combine this scuttlebutt with Bryan Fuller's statement that he'll go back to Heroes if PD is cancelled, his statement to a Paley Center audience that he'd continue the storylines in a comic book if the show is gone, and the fact that a double-dose of Scrubs is likely to take the show's timeslot in late January, and things aren't looking good for the crew at the Pie Hole.
(S02E05) Hmm...something was off about this episode of Pushing Daisies for me. Maybe it was the emphasis on Emerson, a character I like, but not my favorite, but this show really only hooked me with Ned's story.
Between the Chinese dumplings and the fruit pies, I was having major munchies. I'm kicking myself for not having ordered steamed dumplings with my Happy Family combination dish earlier this evening. I also loved Ned's line in the opening narration about investing in a pie shop when "...Carbohydrates had fallen completely out of fashion." How true!
Stephen Root's appearance as Dwight Dixon, a friend of Ned's parents, opened a world of possibilities. At one point, I thought he might be the pie-maker's father, but the last scene seems to dispel that notion. What's with the pistol on the front seat?
Everything about the show remains top-notch. The look, the feel, the essence remains as precious as the Emmy-award winning pie-lette (for direction). In fact, that's the only problem with PD; it is precious. For some people that's too much. For me, this is TV that's just too good to care about the delicate balance between surreality and satire, fable and a far-out acid trip.
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