Resurrecting Dead Like Me, Bryan Fuller’s first failed show

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Dead Like Me aired on Showtime between 2003 and 2004. It was Bryan Fuller’s first and, to date, longest-running creation. Although Fuller—the creative dynamo behind Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal—left the production team of Dead Like Me early in its first season due to “creative differences,” his distinctive style shines through in the series’ 29-episode run.

The show follows a troupe of grim reapers—souls trapped between life and death with the duty of guiding other souls lucky enough to enter an afterlife—including one Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth), an eighteen-year-old slacker who dies on her first lunch break when a piece of space debris lands directly on her face.

Soon after her soul is rudely ejected from her body, George meets the reapers Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and Betty (Rebecca Gayheart), and bolts through all five stages of grief.

Once acceptance of her death sets in, George learns that she is to stay on earth (trapped somewhere between life and death) as a grim reaper who takes the souls of those about to die.

The pilot episode also introduces us to a few of George’s fellow reapers:

Roxy (Jasmine Guy), who keeps a day job as a meter maid to pay for worldly expenses as an otherworldly creature.

And Mason (Callum Blue), a previously drug-addled Brit who died young in the 60’s.

George’s two-season jaunt between life and death ended prematurely when the network canceled the show due to low ratings, marking the first of Fuller’s shows to die young.

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