Can Pushing Daisies Come Back from the Dead?
Pushing Daisies - Lee Pace by Colleen Hayes/ABC
On Stage 19 of the Warner Bros. lot, a
seduction is in bloom. Heroine Chuck (
) has just shown up unannounced at the apartment of her pie-baker boyfriend, Ned (
). They banter. They flirt. She mentions wanting to wrap him up in "goose-down goodness." And then she lets the duvet that's wrapped around her shoulders slide to the floor, leaving only a red ribbon in her hair and a sky-high pair of heels on her feet. Ned manages to spit out a few words: "I've really missed you."
No doubt ABC executives are hoping viewers will feel the same. After all, the series - a star-crossed romance between Ned, who can bring the dead back to life with a touch but also kill with one more, and Chuck, the childhood sweetheart he resurrected and can never have physical contact with again - hasn't aired since December 2007. Which raises the question: Will
, a modest hit in Season 1, still be able to cultivate an audience when it returns (Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 8 pm/ET)? "That's out of our control," admits creator
. "What we
control is telling the best stories."
He's certainly pulling out all the fantastical stops. In the closing moments of Season 1, Chuck's eyepatch-sporting Aunt Lily (
) revealed that she is Chuck's mom. When Season 2 opens, Olive (
), the Ned-besotted Pie Hole waitress who heard Lily's confession, decides to flee to a nunnery in hopes of keeping her own piehole shut. That prompts a
Sound of Music
moment for Broadway belter Chenoweth. "We re-create that opening sequence where we come through the clouds and into the valley and she's there spinning," reveals Fuller.
The show's soul mates - who hit a roadblock when Chuck realized that Ned's "gift" had caused her dad's death - will also be back in tune, at least figuratively. "Ned invents a contraption so they can spoon," Friel says. "It lets them touch, but not touch."
Other imaginative curveballs in store: Private eye Emerson (
) creates a pop-up book with clues in it in an effort to track down his long-lost daughter. And David Arquette guest stars as Randy Mann, a murder suspect who befriends Ned. "He's what Ned would be if he didn't have the whole touching-dead-things thing," Pace says.
The result, insists Friel, is a show that "looks and feels as rich and spectacular as it always has." Now that's what we've really missed. -
Watch Video Q&As with the cast: