Pushing Daisies: Season 1, Episode 1

Pie-lette (3 Oct. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 686 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

Ned uses his unique powers to bring his childhood crush, Chuck, back to life and solve her murder. But he is also forced to keep his distance from her, because if he touches her, she will be dead forever.



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Title: Pie-lette (03 Oct 2007)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Newscaster #3
Ted Garcia ...
Newscaster #1
Brad Grunberg ...


At an early age, Ned realizes that he has a unique gift - he can bring anything dead back to life. There are limits however: touched a second time, the object or person dies; and anything or anyone re-animated beyond 60 seconds will result in another object or person dying. Ned uses his powers sparingly, but when private detective Emerson Cod learns of his abilities, they form a partnership. Ned will re-animate murder victims (for less than 60 seconds) to learn the identity of their murderer. When Ned's childhood sweetheart Charlotte is killed however, he has a major decision to make. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 October 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The title is based on a play on words for the term of the first show of a series used to sell the series to the television network and advertisers, The Pilot. See more »


When Chuck gets back to her coffin, she lies in a different position from before. The pillow also changes sides. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: At this very moment in the town of Couer d'Couers, young Ned was nine years, twenty-seven weeks, six days and three minutes old. His dog, Digby was three years, two weeks, six days, five hours, and nine minutes old... and not a minute older.
See more »


References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »


Main Titles
Written by James Dooley
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User Reviews

Love and Death
4 December 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

There are very few, if any, romantic things about death, unless of course you're in a Tim Burton movie (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride come to mind). Any mention of the brilliant visionary filmmaker isn't coincidental at all, given ABC's comedy/drama Pushing Daisies looks and feels a lot like his best pictures: it's romantic, it's darkly funny and it tells the quirky story of an outsider.

The outsider is Ned (Lee Pace), a pie-maker with the most unique gift: he can revive dead people with one simple touch. However, as the deadpan, Burtonian narrator (Jim Dale) informs us, there are two caveats regarding his gift: firstly, if the revived person or animal stays alive for more than a minute, someone nearby will have to die as compensation (some "cosmic balance" nonsense); plus, and this is even worse, if he touches the resurrected ones a second time, they will die forever (which is what happened to his mother). Because of this, he lives alone with his dog Digby, whom he can't touch, and stays away from social contacts, investing all his energies in pie-making.

Well, not really: ever since a P.I. named Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) found out about his abilities, the two make money by bringing back murder victims for a minute and finding out who killed them. The morbid partnership is threatened, though, when Ned's childhood love Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel) is killed and he decides to keep her around. Meanwhile, Ned's employee Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) tries to find out how to win the lonely pie-maker's heart.

The main attraction of the pilot, apart from the admittedly twisted premise, is its visual side: in the hands of Barry Sonnenfeld, who had his fair share of black comedy experience with The Addams Family, Pie-lette is a poem in pictures, with dashing colors, deliberately exaggerated lighting and outlandish, out-of-time locations (again, pure Burton). It's a welcome return to form after the hit-and-miss Men in Black II, and the Emmy he won for directing the episode is abundant proof the producers' faith in him was well placed. Paired with Bryan Fuller's wonderful script (originally planned as a spin-off of the ill-fated Showtime series Dead Like Me), his artistic eye is vital in setting Pushing Daisies apart from, say, Desperate Housewives (since we're talking about dark comedies, the comparison is justified).

Cast-wise, it's like 95% of America's TV productions: absolutely perfect. Placing two unknowns in the leading roles (as a matter of fact, Friel isn't even American) makes it easier to root for them, and as far as on-screen chemistry goes, few things can beat the platonic combination of Pace's quirky likability and Friel's earthy charm. For the laughs, on the other hand, look no further than McBride (best known for more serious parts in Boston Public and House M.D.) and Chenoweth (who did a marvelous job on The West Wing), especially when they're together.

So, terrific writing, beautiful visuals, lots of irony and a cast to die for (pun intended). What's not to love?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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