The critics fell over each other to praise it, its fans were avid, but it still wasn’t enough to keep the quirky dramedy Pushing Daisies on the air. The series starred Lee Pace as Ned, a pie-maker/private investigator gifted with a mysterious ability to bring people back to life just by touching them. Unfortunately, if he touches them again they die forever. When he discovers his childhood friend Charlotte ‘Chuck’ Charles (Anna Friel) has been murdered, he brings her back to life and they fall in love, knowing that they can never touch again.
During the press conference for her new movie Land of the Lost, Anna Friel spoke with us about the final episodes of Pushing Daisies that will air in June.
Are you doing anything special with the cast for the final episodes?
Well hopefully. Lee’s in town. He’s going to come to the premiere tomorrow, as is Bryan Fuller [who created Pushing Daisies]; I’ve got all my Daisies clan. I’m very excited, I got the episodes on DVD, but I wanted to wait to watch them go out live. And although it was a short run of a series, I think it will be something that will last. A journalist from USA Today put it really nicely, he said we had a show that didn’t run long, but will last forever. It was such a daring and creative project to do in the first place, and hopefully it has opened up many doors for TV to become more adventurous.
I believe Bryan said in the finale of Season Two, the one that’s airing in three weeks, there’s not a resolution. Are there any plans for it to continue?
I know it has always been his dream to do some kind of film version, but whether that actually comes to fruition, we’ll have to see. He had the series planned out over a few years, and the real ending was just so beautiful and touching when he first discussed it.
So you know what would have happened to Chuck down the line?
I do. It was lovely. Sometimes they don’t want to fill you in with what’s coming up because they don’t want you to play it before the actual character would know, but sometimes you need help, and every few months we’d go to Bryan and we’d see the writers’ storyboards and we’d see how Chuck was tracked, and how Ned was, and it was so exciting that even after the 17-hour days you’d just think “God, I’ve got that coming up.”
It was so well reviewed, why do you think the show struggled and ultimately ended?
I think the writers’ strike had a lot to do with a lot of shows [being cancelled). This was not your average show, and it was just starting to pick up momentum and then to take something off the air for a year, you have to re-find those viewers. I think it was quite a complex storyline. It wasn’t something that you could go “Oh, we’ll just turn it on,” because the whole procedural element made sure you had to really listen. I think it was a big bold thing for ABC to take on. It was incredibly expensive, it was incredibly bright and it was something that was daring. Maybe there just weren’t enough fans. The fans that were there were loyal, strong and true, but maybe it just didn’t catch people’s imagination the way it should have done. If I really knew the answer to that, I would be running a network.