|Air Date||October 3, 2007|
|Written by||Bryan Fuller|
Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, "Lonely Tourist" Charlotte Charles, back to life after she's murdered on a cruise ship. The revived Chuck helps Ned and his partner Emerson solve her murder, and discovers that her first kiss with Ned must also be her last. Meanwhile, Olive makes advances on Ned, Vivian serves cheese, and Lily holds her breath.
Ned is a young man with a special gift – he can bring a dead person back to life with a touch. But there's a catch – if the person stays alive for more than a minute, then someone else will die. Also, a second touch will bring death, forever.
Ned discovers his gift as a child when he brings his dog, Digby, back to life. When Ned's mother dies, he brings her back to life – but this kills the father of his childhood sweetheart, Chuck. Another touch kills Ned's mother. Both left alone, Ned is sent to boarding school, and Chuck lives with her aunts, the reclusive Lily and Vivian. Ned and Chuck share a first kiss, and are then parted.
Nineteen years, thirty-four weeks, one day and fifty-nine minutes later, Ned owns a bakery, the Pie Hole. He also moonlights as the partner of Emerson Cod, a private investigator who discovers Ned's secret gift. Emerson realizes that they can turn a profit solving murders by reviving the murder victim and asking who killed them. Meanwhile, Ned's employee and neighbor, Olive Snook, has a crush on the pie maker – but Ned has learned not to get attached to anybody, and he wards off Olive's advances.
Everything changes when Ned learns that Chuck has been murdered on a cruise ship. He and Emerson travel to Ned's hometown, Coeur d'Coeurs, to solve the case. Ned revives Chuck, and she's thrilled to be reunited with her old friend. She doesn't know who killed her, and Ned only has a minute to return her to the grave. But he can't bear to kill her, and the funeral director, Lawrence Schatz, dies instead. Ned hides Chuck in the coffin, and secretly arranges to rescue her after the funeral. Chuck stays in Ned's apartment – but despite the romantic feelings that they share, they can't ever touch again.
Chuck is happy to make a fresh start on her life, and she approaches Ned and Emerson with a plan to solve her own murder and collect the reward. They go to Boutique Travel Travel Boutique, where manager Deedee Duffield offered Chuck a free cruise in exchange for transporting a pair of plaster monkeys. When they arrive, Deedee has been killed as well. Ned brings Deedee back to life, but she dies again before telling them who killed her. Ned, Emerson and Chuck realize that if the plaster monkeys were in Chuck's possession on the cruise ship, then they would have been sent to her next of kin -- Aunt Vivian and Aunt Lily.
They go to Vivian and Lily's house, to find the monkeys before the killer does. Ned and Emerson talk to Chuck's aunts, ex-synchronized swimmers with matching social phobias. Chuck has to stay out of sight – but she's determined to help, and she climbs up the back wall to her bedroom. Lily goes upstairs to collect the monkeys for Ned, and is attacked by the killer. Ned is also attacked, and Chuck rescues him. Lily survives her attack, and shoots the killer dead.
Ned and Chuck discover that the plaster monkeys were actually made of gold. Lily and Vivian collect the reward for catching Chuck's killer, and decide to leave the house for the first time in years. Ned, Chuck and Emerson agree to work together – but despite their yearnings, Ned and Chuck can never touch again.
The first episode had a strong debut, reaching 13 million viewers and winning its timeslot. The episode had a 4.3 rating/12 share for adults 18-49.
Differences between the screener version and the aired version
- The exterior of The Pie Hole has changed. The apartment that Ned lives in is now over the crust instead of as a separate building next to the restaurant.
- Vivian's line after Ned's response to "Do you like girls?": "Didn't want to assume" was deleted.
- There are some score cue changes.
- Part of the scene between Emerson, Ned, and the aunts was re-shot and another shot of Chuck looking in the window was added.
- Matthew Miltenberger's death was changed from being murdered in a public restroom, to being found dead in a lobster tank of a steak restaurant. Plus he is a scuba diver, while in the screener version, his occupation is not given.
- In the screener, the title of the show is not given until the end over the field of daisies. The title is now shown in a brief title sequence at the end of Act 1.
- The song playing when Ned and Emerson are talking to Lily and Vivian is “Guilty” by Al Bowlly, a British Jazz singer. The song is used several times in the film “Amelie”. It is track 7 on the "Amelie" soundtrack.
- This is the only time modern cars are seen in the series: a black Ford on its way to Charlotte's funeral and, in a flashback, Charlotte's red VW New Beatle in front of the Boutique Travel Travel Boutique.
Awards & Nominations
- This episode won a DGA Award in 2008 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television - Comedy Series for Barry Sonnenfeld, who shared it with Gabriela Vasquez (unit production manager), Chris Soldo (first assistant director), Greg Hale (second assistant director), and Renee Hill-Sweet (second second assistant director).
- This episode was nominated for an ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series'/Pilot for Michael Weaver.
- This episode was nominated for a WGA Award for Best Episode for Bryan Fuller.
- The episode was nominated for a VES (Visual Effects Society) Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program for Craig Weiss, Toni Pace Carstensen, Brian Vogt, and Jimmy Berndt.
- This episode was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award (or Edgar for short) for Best Television Episode Teleplay for Bryan Fuller.
- This episode also scored several Primetime Emmy nominations, including:
- This episode won an Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (single or multi-camera) for Stuart Bass, A.C.E. as well as for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for Barry Sonnenfeld
- Lee Pace: Ned
- Anna Friel: Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
- Chi McBride: Emerson Cod
- Jim Dale: The Narrator
- Ellen Greene: Vivian Charles
- Swoosie Kurtz: Lily Charles
- Kristin Chenoweth: Olive Snook
- Terry Anzur: Newscaster #3
- Ed Brigadier: Minister
- Field Cate: Young Ned
- Ted Garcia: Newscaster #1
- Murray Gershenz: Rabbi
- Tina Gloss: Ned's mother
- Brad Grunberg: Funeral Director
- Sammi Hanratty: Young Chuck
- Geraud Moncure: Newscaster #4
- Leyna Nguyen: Newscaster #2
- Sy Richardson: Coroner
- Greg Suddeth: Gravedigger
- David Trice: Matthew Miltenberger
- Julie Wittner: Deedee Duffield
- Jeff Wolfe: The Shiny Shoes Killer
Note: The late scuba diver that Ned resurrects at the end of the episode is named "Matthew Miltenberger" by the Narrator, but listed as "Martin Miltenberger" in the credits.
The gallery for "Pie-lette" can be found here.
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