This forensic fairytale follows Ned, a young man with a very special gift. As a boy, Ned discovered that he could return the dead briefly back to life with just one touch. Now a pie maker, Ned puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavour, but working with a private investigator to crack murder cases by raising the dead and getting them to name their killers.
But the tale gets complicated when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, back from the dead - and keeps her alive. Chuck becomes the third partner in Ned and Emerson's private-investigation enterprise, encouraging them to use Ned's skills for good, not just for profit.
01 - Bzzzzzzzzz!
Narrated by JIM DALE, this whimsical tale describes how Young Ned (series star FIELD CATE) discovered that he could return the dead briefly back to life with just one touch. But, as he soon finds out, his gift isn't without consequences, and he quickly learns the rules. With the first touch, life; with the second touch, death again, this time forever; and the final rule: if something is kept alive for more than a minute, something else must die in its place. Now grown, Ned (series star LEE PACE) is a pie maker, and puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor, but working with a morally ambivalent private investigator, Emerson Cod (series star CHI McBRIDE) to crack murder cases by raising the dead and asking them to name their killers.
The tale gets complicated, as all tales do, when Ned is handed a case that will change his life forever. His childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (series star ANNA FRIEL), is murdered on a cruise ship under strange circumstances. Ned brings Chuck back to life, albeit briefly, to solve the crime. But once reunited with Chuck, Ned can't bring himself to touch her again.
Chuck encourages Ned to use his power to help others, instead of merely solving mysteries and collecting the rewards, and becomes the third partner in Ned and Emerson's P.I. enterprise. Ned is overjoyed to be reunited with Chuck, the only girl he's ever loved. Life would be perfect for Ned and Chuck, except for one cruel twist: If he ever touches her again, she'll go back to being dead, this time for good.
This season, Ned and Chuck's relationship begins to change as Chuck yearns for more independence and moves out of Ned's apartment -- without Ned's support. Olive Snook (series star KRISTIN CHENOWETH), the waitress at Ned's Pie Hole with the loaded gun of secrets, cracks under the pressure of keeping the deep, dark secret of Chuck's eye patch-wearing, drink-swilling Aunt Lily (series star SWOOSIE KURTZ) -- that Lily is actually Chuck's mother -- and runs off to a nunnery. Digby the dog gets a new friend when Pigby, a truffle-hunting sow, moves in. And the sudden appearance of mysterious Dwight Dixon (recurring guest star STEPHEN ROOT - "NewsRadio," "The West Wing," "King of the Hill," "Leatherheads"), who is an old friend of Ned's and Chuck's fathers, spells trouble for everyone. The series also stars ELLEN GREENE as Vivian, Chuck's other aunt and Lily's sister. Together, the two sisters make up the famed Darling Mermaid Darlings synchronized swimming team.
In the second season premiere, Chuck goes undercover as a "Bee Girl" at a honey-based cosmetics company after their new spokesmodel (guest star AUTUMN REESER - "The O.C.") is stung to death. Chuck soon discovers that office politics are killer -- literally -- between the founder, Betty Bee (guest star MISSI PYLE - "Boston Legal," ""Heroes") and the new owner, Woolsey Nicholls (guest star FRENCH STEWART - "3rd Rock from the Sun," "The Closer"). Meanwhile, Ned can't stand Chuck's growing independence -- or the fact that she wants to move out of his apartment. And Lily spirits Olive off to a nunnery so she won't spill Lily's deep, dark secret.
02 - Circus Circus
Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen, Nikki Heaps (guest star HAYLEY McFARLAND - "Gilmore Girls," "ER"), who has run off to the circus ... a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Recurring guest star DIANA SCARWID ("Wonderfalls," "Truman" "What Lies Beneath") appears as Mother Superior.
03 - Bad Habits
Chuck, Emerson and Ned go undercover as a Catholic nun and priests and pass themselves off as investigators from the Vatican to help Olive prove that her best pal at the nunnery, Sister Larue (MO COLLINS - "madTV"), didn't kill herself, but was actually murdered.
04 - Frescorts
When the most popular escort at a rent-a-friend agency turns up dead, the team investigates who killed him, including his antisocial, taxidermy-loving roommate and likely suspect, Randy Mann (guest star DAVID ARQUETTE - "Scream" films, "Hamlet 2"). Meanwhile, Emerson's famed private investigator mom, Calista Cod (guest star DEBRA MOONEY - "Everwood," "Boston Legal," "The Practice"), pays an unexpected visit.
05 - Dim Sum Lose Some
Ned is startled when a mysterious man, Dwight Dixon (recurring guest star STEPHEN ROOT - "NewsRadio," "Leatherheads," "The West Wing," "King of the Hill"), appears at the diner claiming to be an old friend and associate of his father's -- and asks for Ned's help in finding him. Meanwhile, Emerson investigates a murder at a dim sum restaurant and reunites with Simone (guest star CHRISTINE ADAMS - "Home Again," "NY-LON," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), the polygamist's widow and dog obedience trainer who once caught his eye.
06 - Oh, Oh, Oh It's Magic
Ned reluctantly agrees to help "The Great Herrmann" (guest star FRED WILLARD - "Back to You," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "For Your Consideration," "Best in Show"), a famed magician whose animal assistants are being mysteriously killed off. The magician has been a surrogate dad to Ned's half brothers ever since their father walked out on them. Meanwhile, Dwight Dixon (recurring guest star STEPHEN ROOT) insinuates himself into the aunts' lives, but Lily is instantly suspicious of his motives.
07 - Robbing Hood
Ned, Chuck and Emerson investigate the case of a dead millionaire (guest star SHELLEY BERMAN - "Boston Legal," "Curb Your Enthusiasm") who may have been murdered by his much younger money-grubbing widow (guest star JENNIFER ELISE COX - "10 Items or Less," "Six Feet Under," "Nip/Tuck," "The Brady Bunch Movie") ... or a latter-day Robin Hood (guest star DANNY COMDEN - "Dirt," "I'm With Her"). Meanwhile, Lily fumes as the suspicious Dwight Dixon (recurring guest star STEPHEN ROOT) begins romancing a clueless Vivian.
08 - Comfort Food
Chuck turns to Emerson for help in dealing with the consequences of her actions, while Ned and Olive compete at a comfort food cook-off that turns deadly when a chef is found deep fried and dead. STEPHEN ROOT appears as Dwight Dixon.
09 - The Legend of Merle McQuoddy
As Ned and Chuck deal with the traumatic return of someone from their past, Emerson, assisted by Olive, investigates the odd death of lighthouse keeper Nora McQuoddy (KRISTEN OLSON), whose murder could expose some of Papen County's stranger secrets. MARY KAY PLACE ("Big Love," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Being John Malkovich," "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman") guest stars as Annabelle Vandersloop.
10 - The Norwegians
When Emerson turns down Vivian's request to look into the sudden disappearance of Dwight Dixon (recurring guest star STEPHEN ROOT), she turns to another team of private investigators, lead by Emerson's bitter rival, Magnus Olsdatter (guest star ORLANDO JONES - "Drumline," "MADtv"). Magnus and his cohorts are relentless Norwegian gumshoes, ejected from their own country, and their snooping may reveal all of Ned's and Chuck's secrets. IVANA MILICEVIC ("Chuck," "Ugly Betty," "Battle in Seattle") and MICHAEL WEAVER ("Super Troopers," "Notes from the Underbelly") also guest star.
11 - Window Dressed to Kill
When Ned declares he's no longer using his "gift" to solve crimes, Emerson enlists Chuck's help to investigate the murder of a window dresser. Meanwhile, Olive gets a blast from her past -- the two cons who kidnapped her as a child (she convinced them to in an effort to get her parents' attention) break out of jail and ask for her help. RICHARD BENJAMIN ("Deconstructing Harry," "The Sunshine Boys," "He & She," "Goodbye, Columbus") and GEORGE SEGAL ("Just Shoot Me!," "The Cable Guy," "Look Who's Talking," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") guest star as Jerry and Buster. Recurring guest stars DAVID ARQUETTE appears as Randy Mann and DIANA SCARWID appears as Mother Superior.
12 - Water & Power
Emerson gets a lead in his daughter Penny's whereabouts when he investigates the murder of millionaire Roland Stingwell (guest star FRED WILLIAMSON). The prime suspect is Penny's no-good mama, Lila Robinson (guest star GINA TORRES - "Firefly," "Alias," "Standoff," "24," "Cleopatra 2525"), who ran off with the girl years ago. Meanwhile, an awkward Randy Mann (recurring guest star DAVID ARQUETTE) tries to romance Olive.
13 - Kerplunk
When one half of the synchronized swimming duo the Aquadolls (guest stars NORA DUNN - "Saturday Night Live," "Sisters," "The Nanny" and WENDIE MALICK - "Just Shoot Me!," "Dream On," "Frasier") meets with an unfortunate end (murder by shark?), the Darling Mermaid Darlings get a chance to come out of retirement at a traveling water circus. But the surviving Aquadoll may know a little too much about Lily's past. Meanwhile, Ned, Chuck and Emerson go undercover to solve the murder.