'Pushing Daisies' brings new life to procedural whodunits

The oddball premise, about a man who brings murder victims back to life, has generated buzz.

Pushing Daisies

(ABC, Oct. 3, 8 p.m.) Part Tim Burton, part "Desperate Housewives," this twinkly dark comedy – about Ned, a lonely piemaker, who can raise the dead with a single touch – is the season's "buzz" show. As Ned turns his talents to crime-solving (touch the deceased, ask who killed them, collect the reward), the hour balances its caper-cartoon and ghoulish sensibilities with a crisp pace and well-cast leads, including Chi McBride as a detective and Lee Pace (a relatively unknown actor who is a dead ringer for a young John Cusack) as the piemaker. The show faces a big challenge, though – this funeral-parlor trick could get really old, fast. Grade: A–

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