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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



Note: all remaining quotes in the previous post have now been revealed.

I've begun a Pushing Daisies spec. Yeah, it's only had nine episodes to establish itself, but I accept the risk in order to be (or try to be) the guy with the different, but readable spec in that ridiculously huge pile with 150 Ugly Betty scripts in it.

So, when working on a spec, who better to get advice from than the cast and writing staff of said show. Fortunately, I am able to call upon their combined might. At the PaleyFest. They were even kind enough to all wear microphones so that I wouldn't miss a word. Swell bunch of folks.

Creator Bryan Fuller was, of course, on hand along with creative partner Peter Ocko and producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. Of the cast, Lee Pace, Anna Friel (and her accent), Chi McBride (and his hilarity), Kristen Chenoweth, and Ellen Greene were there.

Some interesting and somewhat spoilery bits follow.

Proceed with caution, though nothing major is revealed, some people get a little squidgy about learning anything about episodes they haven't seen.
  • Pushing Daisies was conceived as a spin-off of Dead Like Me (at least by concept), but when that didn't happen, Fuller put it in his back pocket.
  • A scene addressing meat and Ned has been bounced out of many episodes and will surely get handled in season two. Ned is a vegetarian. Thing would "wriggle out."
  • Fuller addressed the possibility of babymaking by laboratorical means. "When his sperm hit her egg, it would die." Anna Friel was quite distressed by this. I suspect that if the show goes on long enough, this might get readdressed.
  • The cliffhanger revelation of Aunt Vivian actually being Chuck's mother was not intended to carry as much dramatic weight as it is. That's the doing of the strike. Had the season continued as planned it would have been more of a blip than a bomb.
  • Chuck will learn that truth and it will become very much about how Ned tries to "control her trajectory" on the reaction to that information.
  • The second season will have a slightly harder edge to it. Not that it won't be heartwarming and all the things that make it what it is, but it's established the world enough to get a little edge. Good news as far as I'm concerned.
  • Chenoweth was on Percocet with a broken rib when she did that Olive episode, "Girth," including the shovel stunt.
  • Fuller has begun writing the first episode of the second season. The first five stories have been approved and production is set to resume in June.
  • Chi McBride's character was behind everything on The Nine. Seriously. Unrelated, yes, but know I kinda want to go back and watch those with that knowledge, because without it, I ultimately didn't care and stopped watching. "The only show named after its audience," McBride said.
  • Asked about desired guest stars, Harvey Korman was mentioned. I found myself thinking that would be awesome. And not just because my spec has the perfect role in it (cuz that ain't never happening).
The spec itself proceeds rapidly apace, after much plotting consternation, trying to find the perfect fit of crime-of-the-week, emotional hook, logical progression and subplots. It flipped back and forth several times, but they key eventually revealed itself and, damnation if it's not just plain fun to write once you start getting it on the page.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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