Here\'s Snoop Dogg Smoking up on the Iron Throne
Everyone loves an underdog. Or, in the case of a cancelled-too-soon television show bracket, an underdog\'s underdog. The final round of our weeklong TV Reboot Tournament pitted a No. 7 seed in
creator Bryan Fuller\'s enchanted romantic comedy ever hope to capture enough hearts to trounce the famous Browncoats, the highly organized devotees of Joss Whedon\'s 2002-2003 space-cowboy series? The answer, miraculously, was yes: The short-lived ABC show prevailed, capturing 56 percent of the vote.
didn\'t go down without a fight, not with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk jumping in on Friday night and sending
\'s fortunes skyrocketing—and roping in the likes of William Shatner in the process. As
voters kept piling on as we headed into Sunday, it looked like a lock for the crew of the
versus the Pie Hole staff. So how did things end up this way? Let\'s break it down.
Lee Pace on Whether \'Pushing Daisies\' Will Ever...
Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk on \'Firefly\' Fandom...
hadn\'t encountered formidable competition until its face-off against
which came as a surprise to exactly no one: Anyone lucky enough to be in the room for San Diego Comic Con\'s
10th Anniversary panel knows how brightly the fandom continues to burn for the 14-episode series. Or a
sequel. Or an animated series based on the comic book—anything, really.
on the Earth-That-Was. In round two, the show knocked a potential revival of HBO\'s
show out of the competition. With round three, bracket darlings began to drop, with
, a dream revival for many a comedy buff. Practically in different weight classes,
in the Final Four. The show\'s place in the championship was destiny. And for good reason: Television needs a new
. Our geeky star systems are vast and empty without it.
with the same victory fuel. The goings were tough early on; as a Tumblr user wrote of the round-one pairing: "I had to choose between
. This was, hands down, the hardest decision I\'ve ever had to make." While
\' recent theatrical venture may have impacted its standings. Fans successfuly brought that show back to life. Been there, done that.
bypassed it with ease. The show\'s round two opponent,
, was alway wishful thinking on the part of Esquire editors, and was defeated with a Ned-style second-touch of death.
Round three provided another moment of pure hell for any TV viewer.
, pure kindness and love distilled into a one-hour drama? The match looked like such an uphill battle, those with something on the line had to step in. Enter Bryan Fuller himself.
VOTE #PushingDaisies Bring back Chappelle\'s Show or Pushing Daisies? I say Pushing Daisies http://t.co/pa45V9bEFH
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 18, 2015
For all of his shows that never found eclipsed their Nielsen ratings-dictated bars, Fuller remains Internet nobility. He points, dedicated fans follow. When he spread the word on our little competition, the TV Reboot Tournament came down with a serious case of
slid back into its place as one of the 20th century\'s last great TV shows.
VOTE #PUSHINGDAISIES THINK OF THE PIES! Bring back Freaks and Geeks or Pushing Daisies? I say Pushing Daisies http://t.co/6Ig7tVPyCS
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 19, 2015
Sports fans live for neck-and-neck races. That\'s when the heart pounds, the sweat breaks, and warrior instincts tell them that hooting and hollering at the top of their lungs is the winning strategy. Though we gave it a full weekend to breathe, voters felt every second of
\'s countdown clock. We couldn\'t have dreamt of healthier, rowdier competition. First, Fuller applied a public, full-court press:
.@josswhedon I love #Firefly, I love #Serenity, but wouldn\'t YOU love another slice of pie? VOTE #PUSHINGDAISIES http://t.co/QSZHQFJ3k2
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 20, 2015
IF #PUSHINGDAISIES WINS, I\'LL TWEET AN INTERESTING TIDBIT ABOUT THE #HANNIBAL S3 PREMIERE Bring back Pushing Daisies! http://t.co/QSZHQFJ3k2
. Or Nathan Fillion keeps a close eye on any TV revival polling. Because then this happened:
Hey, Browncoats. Looks like you’re needed. How Would Malcolm Reynolds Vote? http://t.co/DASMCgzDot
— Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) March 20, 2015
vOTE! VOTE! VOTE! I LOVED FIREFLY, but...... #vivanedandchuck
“@leepace: vOTE! VOTE! VOTE! I LOVED FIREFLY, but…… #vivanedandchuck
— Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) March 21, 2015
“@leepace: VOTE! VOTE! I LOVED FIREFLY, but…
You will crumble before the Browncoats! Oh, and follow @leepace.
Come on Pie Holers! It\'s not over yet! 🐒💣
Emoji. Lee Pace went there. Playful teasing went atomic when outsiders joined in.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 21, 2015
throwdown would not be ignored. Before long, other cast members were weighing in.
Oh it\'s on @Esquiremag! --> http://t.co/7vv93lX7Sc Big fan of both shows but I love Olive & the gang! #TeamPushingDaisies who\'s with me??
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) March 21, 2015
Guys & ladies. Firefly is getting beat out by Pushing Daisies. .@NathanFillion if you haven\'t voted, maybe you could -http://t.co/NHWvASuCdD
— alan tudyk (@alan_tudyk) March 22, 2015
May be the losing side... Still not convinced it\'s the wrong one
— Jewel Staite (@JewelStaite) March 22, 2015
Fuller even tried to appeal directly to his opponents.
.@alan_tudyk IF #PUSHINGDAISIES WINS @leepace CAN TOUCH YOUR #FIREFLY CHARACTER AND BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE http://t.co/QSZHQFJ3k2
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 22, 2015
By this point, Pace was a little stunned. "It\'s so nice that they still care, you know?" he told Esquire hours before the polls closed. Fillion was equally grateful when we spoke to him over the weekend. "When I meet these fans at conventions and they are longing for Firefly and they can\'t believe it was cancelled and their hearts are ripped out, I\'m grateful," the actor explained over the weekend. "I\'m vindicated. Because that\'s how I felt!"
across the finish line, uniting from around the world to give the show a visible bump in the spotlight, at a time when television shows are coming back, in one way or another. We\'ve reckoned with
love during previous rounds, but the message is clear: Audiences need more. Here\'s hoping they get it.
How many "marshmallows" spent the week weeping because
didn\'t get past Round One? It\'s unfathomable. A brutal, bracket-shattering defeat.
, but boy, are those great, oddball comedies. Must-sees if they\'re missing from your television education.
life over? Was its potential revival more of a LiveJournal/Xanga era dream than a Tumblr/Snapchat one?
Shows that went far did so with International support. They love
is an anomaly. Very funny show! But are people tattooing Ted Danson smoking a joint on their arm? Because fans of the shows that went as far as HBO\'s detective comedy are ones with the kind of mesmerizing draw that make Heaven\'s Gaters envious.
TV movies because we can\'t convince ourselves to give up.
What Could Have Been for 10 Cancelled-Too-Soon Shows
A look at the would-be next seasons for \'Deadwood,\' \'Party Down,\' and more that got axed. By Adam K. Raymond
TV Reboot Tournament, Final Four: The Fan Battles Heat Up
Bryan Fuller on \'Pushing Daisies\' and Being Cancelled
We Underestimated \'Pushing Daisies\': Analyzing TV Reboot Tournament Round 3
The seven-seeded fantasy series could go all the way. By Matt Patches
Paul Feig Looks Back on \'Freaks and Geeks\'
It all comes down to passion in the fight among \'Freaks and Geeks,\' \'Pushing Daisies,\' \'Bored to Death,\' and \'Firefly.\' By Esquire Editors
The director and creator of the classic series talks about the pain of being cancelled, his real-life disco-suit inspiration, and his idea... By Jen Chaney