Vagabond Joe: ABC Mulls Changes for Struggling Series

NEW YORK – American television network ABC is considering drastic measures to improve the chances of survival for it’s fledgling sophomore dramedy, Pushing Daisies, a spokesman has said.

The critically acclaimed show starring Lee Pace and Anna Friel about a pie-maker who can bring dead people back to life has struggled to find an audience despite its groundbreaking originality and excellent use of highly stylized fantasy settings. Fans of the show have begun to express their fears that the show could be canceled in the very near future.

ABC executives want the fans to know that they hear the worry and are addressing the issue.

“We’re very proud of the show, but feel that its relatively small audience and dwindling ratings are cause for some imaginative thinking,” says Paul MacPherson, President of Creative Programming for the nation’s second highest rated network, “We are not ruling out any option at this time.”

One such option would be renaming the show in hopes of drawing in a wider viewership.

“A couple of ideas have been tossed around,” MacPherson said. “We really want to tap in to what the American viewers are responding to and at the same time want to stick with the show’s clever who-dunnit (sic) theme.”

A couple of new name suggestions mentioned were Law and Order: Dead/Not Dead and CSI: Pie Hole.

“We think they are great suggestions,” MacPherson noted while somehow avoiding being crushed by the irony of his own job title.

In addition to possibly renaming the show, vast format changes were also being discussed.  One such change would do away with the standard “narrative” structure of the show and implement a way for viewers to call or text in and choose the outcome of each episode.  This would likely require the episodes to be recorded live which would all but sacrifice Production Designer Michael Wylie’s rich visuals. When asked to comment, Wylie noted “It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, really. They have assured me that what we lose in artistry we would more than gain back with the addition of the new host.”

Negotiations for said host are not yet underway, but network insiders are speculating that both Ryan Seacrest and Nicole Richie have expressed interest.

“It’s an exciting time for ratings-driven network television,” MacPherson added.

Show creator Bryan Fuller is said to be contemplating the network’s new direction in private and was not immediately available for comment.

originally published on 10-27-2008

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