Pushing Daisies - Lee Pace by Colleen Hayes/ABC Pushing Daisies - Lee Pace by Colleen Hayes/ABC

On Stage 19 of the Warner Bros. lot, a Pushing Daisies seduction is in bloom. Heroine Chuck ( Anna Friel) has just shown up unannounced at the apartment of her pie-baker boyfriend, Ned ( Lee Pace). 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 Daisies, 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 Bryan Fuller. "What we can 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 ( Swoosie Kurtz) revealed that she is Chuck's mom. When Season 2 opens, Olive ( Kristin Chenoweth), 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 ( Chi McBride) 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. - Shawna Malcom

Watch Video Q&As with the cast:
" Lee Pace
" Anna Friel
" Ellen Greene
" Chi McBride
" Swoosie Kurtz
" Field Cate