Pushing Daisies: Comics now a hospice for dying TV shows

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pushing daisies Pushing Daisies: Comics now a hospice for dying TV shows
Someone sent us to a story about Pushing Daisies showrunner Brian Fuller revealing his plans, should the show be canceled:

“The idea would be to finish out the season’s story arcs in comic books” if the on-the-bubble hour isn’t picked up, Fuller told a full house at the Paley Center for Media on Tuesday night. He said he hoped his writing staff, most of whom were present for the “Inside the Writers’ Room” panel, would be part of the project “to satisfy the fans and ourselves, to finish up the stories we’d love to tell.” Warner Bros. Television, which produces the series, is a corporate sibling to DC Comics, which would be the likely publisher, Fuller said. (He also mentioned Wildstorm as a possibility.)


Clearly, Buffy and Angel have set the standard here. Daisies is a WB show and WB owns DC, so it’s not such a farfetched idea, merely another element in the continuing intimate relationship between comics and other branches of entertainment.

However, not everyone is jumping for joy:

The other problem I have is the seeming attitude of if it fails as a television show, there’s always comics to fall back on. When did comics become television’s backup? There have always been adaptations of television shows but when did it become “if my show is cancelled, I’ll go to comics?” There are plenty of comics out there more interesting than a failed TV show. If Fuller does this, just remember that comics will now become the consolation prize to failed television writers (henceforth called “The Loeb Factor) and we’ll be around for them until the next great television show pops up on their radar and they run back to ABC or NBC or CBS.

“Loeb Factor.”

Ouch.

Comments

  1. Keith says:

    Maybe they can finally finish Night Court then! Oh, wait, done somewhere else…

  2. 1) At the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, Wildstorm gave away a promotional comic, which can be perused here:
    http://abc.go.com/primetime/pushingdaisies/index?pn=comic

    Photoshopped recaps can be found here:
    http://abc.go.com/primetime/pushingdaisies/index?pn=comicrecaps#t=0

    2) Comicbooks and storyboards share similar mechanics. Comicbooks also have unlimited budgets. Unfortunately, Pushing Daisies is dialog heavy, and I don’t think it would work too well as a comicbook. I would buy it, though!

    3) Pushing Daisies is a sequential show. Like comics, if you don’t make it accessible to new viewers, you’re gonna get canceled. The ABC website helps with recaps and episodes available to view online.

    4) Since Warners owns this show, they could take it to CW, where it would garner decent ratings and run long enough to make money back in syndication and DVDs (it has the same potential as that of Arrested Development).

    5) Go buy the DVDs (or at least watch the “Pie-lette”). The cast is amazing. The guest stars spot-on. The set design is delicious (oh, to live in that apartment building, in that city!) Jim Dale does the narration. Ellen Greene and Kristin Chenoweth sing. I recommend it highly.

  3. one of my fave shows on TV! i’ve had the honor to interview most of the cast and fuller comes on Comic News Insider a few times a year to discuss. it truly is an entertaining piece and i wish it would find that large audience that it so deserves.

    as for going to a comic book. fuller wont be doing it to “fall back” on. sheeesh. he’s going to do it to do what he always does. give back to the fans who have loved and supported the show for so long. give them some sort of end to various storylines. will it be a great business decision? who cares? if it can offer fans of the show some sort of closure, then why not?

    meanwhile, do what torsten says. get the dvd for season 1 (only 9 eps due to writer’s strike). and catch up on season 2!

  4. Hmmm…..if “Mad Men” ever becomes a comic, I totally want to draw it!

  5. “There are plenty of comics out there more interesting than a failed TV show.”

    That seems to miss the point. The goal of continuing a TV show as a comic is not to give comic book readers a better comic to read, it’s to give the TV viewer more of a show he liked. And such efforts become much different after a show is canceled, when a comic book by the creators is not only “in continuity”, it *is* the continuity. It should work well with a show with the cult intensity of Pushing Daisies. About 6 million people watch each episode at this point; get one percent of that to read the comic book, and you’ve got a hit. It’ll be hard to capture the show’s magic on the page (and yes, you should watch the DVDs!) but it would be worthwhile just to bring closure to the storylines.

  6. As long as the size of the audience that it takes to have a successful comic is many times smaller than it takes to have a successful tv show (for obvious cost reasons) then comics can always be a “fall back position” for cancelled tv series. Also note that creator Bryan Fuller is talking about the possibility of a Pushing Daisies movie. Of course getting a movie based on a cancelled tv show is a lot harder than a comic book.

    As for people complaining about competition that this would bring to existing comics, what about the new audiences it brings? While Whedon obviously has a lot of existing comic book fans interested in his work in Buffy, Angel and Serenity, it also brought in a whole new audience who had never been inside a comic book shop before.

    Also I think the world of Pushing Daisies, which I think has been best described as Tim Burton meets Dr. Seuss, with it’s incredibly bright imagery, would fit in just perfectly in the comic book medium. They just need to find the right artist and just as important colourist to capture the mood of the show.

  7. “Tim Burton meets Dr. Seuss”

    That’s kind of redundant since Tim Burton is hugely inspired/paying homage to Dr. Suess in most of his works.

  8. Mariah says:

    Honestly, as long as they keep up the integrity of the storytelling, I don’t mind when a canceled TV show becomes a comic…especially if there isn’t a satisfying end to the show. I’m still burned from Carnivale. It won’t have the same impact, obviously, because characters are hugely defined by the actors who play them…but it can give you closure in a way an abruptly ended show just doesn’t.

    Pusshing Daisies is a truly unique, weird, wonderful show more people should be watching. I suspect it’ll never have a huge audience but then it shouldn’t be pitted against “mainstream” stuff. It’s just not. You can’t compare it to sitcoms or anything else that’s on in any way. It’ll always be “cult” and I wish there was more room for that. Not every thing on should have to snag every viewer…I don’t even know how you can expect that from a show like this.

  9. So when can I have my Veronica Mars and Journeyman comics?

  10. I liked this show when it first aired – but when it came back after the writer’s strike; it began to feel more like as if your mother-in-law had worn out her welcome. I just don’t see it going anywhere. It seems like the same old, same old week after week.

    And the color of the sets are starting to get on my nerves.

    I really dig Life on Mars as far as ABC shows go.

    Matthew Fabb mentions that it’s far harder to get a movie made on a canceled tv series – and I can tell him that there is one exception to the rule – in fact, it was spun off into a more succesful movie franchise than the tv series itself:

    And that show was:

    Police Squad.

    ~

    Coat

  11. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Isn’t Star Trek a similar exception? And technically, James Bond?

    The convenient thing about Pushing Daisies is that if you miss an episode you know you’ll be able to catch it in Hell on one of the 2000 channels that plays nothing but.

    I can’t decide if I want to make a Cannon Season Six fumetti or a James at 48 webcomic more.

  12. jimmy palmiotti says:

    I can enjoy x-files comics if they are well written and illustrated.

    how about “dead like me”?

  13. michael says:

    I honestly don’t understand Cederlund’s anger about this. I love the diversity of comics and their many possible uses.

  14. Frank Rook says:

    On a related note, someone get Ben Edlund to stop playing ‘Musical Canned TV shows’ and get around to finishing (or even starting) The Tick #13. It’s been 15 years already! The SWG strike was a perfect excuse, but nothing.

  15. john layman says:

    If they put out a McLaughlin Group comic I am SO there!

  16. john layman says:

    If they put out a McLaughlin Group comic I am SO there!

  17. AndyG says:

    What’s wrong with ANYONE wanting to do comics? And if it’s someone famous with a following it will simply bring yet MORE attention to the medium.

    I can’t see why anyone would have a problem with this (unless they lost a book to one of these creators). But we’re talking about someone starting a new title not taking over an old one.

    If anything, TV adaptations have the promise to become a bigger segment of the comics market; Doctor Who, X-Files, Buffy–why not Pushing Daisies (or Gilmore Girls, Invasion, Journeyman, Jericho…)?

  18. Steve Jeffers says:

    Buffy fans may have to rely on comics to see their season eight – I’m a West Wing fan, and season eight of that is now playing on CNN.

  19. Personally, I love Pushing Daisies. If anyone hasn’t seen it, it’s kind of like if a USA mystery show had been conceived and filmed by Jeunet and Caro.

    I’m a fan of the comic tie-in after the fact. With the exception of the star wars comics I read in middle school and the Marvel Indiana Jones stuff, I haven’t read much, but I have no problem with it in principle, PROVIDED that the show’s creator (if it’s more or less auteurish, as is the case with P.D., from what I understand) is the primary artistic force behind each installment. If it’s pawned off on other creators, then it’s a supplement, and NOT a continuation.

  20. Wraith says:

    Here’s an idea. Instead of them turning PUSHING DAISIES into a comic book in order to continue the story, why not turn the show into an animated series on either the web or on Adult Swim.

  21. Wraith says:

    Here’s an idea. Instead of them turning PUSHING DAISIES into a comic book in order to continue the story, why not turn the show into an animated series on either the web or on Adult Swim. They could even get all of the actors from the show to voice their characters in the animated series.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Notes for the week of Nov. 15, 2008. In weekly throw-up on November 15, 2008 at 7:40 pm COMICS: If Pushing Daisies is cancelled it may go straight to comics. I’m conflicted with this. Yes, I think its great that people who are into the show can now go to comics to see the story finished (like Buffy and Angel), but I also see the point where its unfair treatment of the medium as Heidi’s pull-quote suggests that these creators with failed TV Shows can just fall back on comics and then turn around and run back to NBC or whomever when their next idea springs up. The whole thing just rings both nice and disengenious, its as if Fuller is saying, “I’m just going to run over here and work out the last of my creative bones on this story and then go back to TV so K, THX and BYE comics for playing.”  Also? “The Loeb Factor,” ooof, that’s a low-blow. […]

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