The Ax, She Is Falling

We all knew Pushing Daisies wasn’t going to make it to a third season; the question was whether it would get a complete second season. It looks like not, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

ABC made a flurry of midseason programming announcements Thursday, including ordering more episodes of “Life on Mars” and deciding against picking up “Pushing Daisies,” “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Eli Stone” for a full season.

The network informed producers of “Daisies,” “Money” and “Stone” that no additional hours will be ordered at this time.

They’re not officially canceled yet, but in practice that just means that ABC reserves the right to bring one of these shows back in 2008-9 if they have a last-minute scheduling hole to fill. That doesn’t usually happen. Particularly since Pushing Daisies is so expensive (and not owned by ABC) and Dirty Sexy Money is most likely the show described by Michael Ausiello where nobody can get along with nobody. (Update: No, it isn’t.)

All three of the not-given-the-back-nine shows (the Germans would have a word for it — keinbackneinfersehn, perhaps?) had potential, but PD will be the saddest loss. Perfect it never was; its whimsy could get out of control, the hero was incredibly passive, and they never really learned to let up on the music scoring just a little bit. But a lot of these things (except the music thing) were improving as this season went along.

Bryan Fuller may just be one of those creators with an original, interesting vision that simply has no place anywhere in television. That’s not a condemnation of the TV executives, since after all ABC pretty much has no choice but to cancel PD. It’s just an acknowledgment that there’s no obvious outlet in TV land for his particular Edward-Scissorhands-ish type of stories. He doesn’t fit on cable (Dead Like Me, from which he got fired) because he’s not really all that edgy — his shows may have a lot of black comedy, but ultimately they’re rather sweet, whimsical fairy tales, and fairy tales, even dark ones, are not cable material. He doesn’t fit on broadcast TV because his shows are too self-consciously quirky and twee. He could always try the sci-fi channel, except he doesn’t strictly do genre shows either (though he’s written for pure genre shows, like the Star Treks).

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