Fans of the three low-rated but well-loved ABC shows that were unceremoniously cancelled late last year—Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, and Eli Stone—prepare for another twist of the knife: It’s looking less and less likely that the final episodes of any of these shows will see airtime.

Last week, E! Online reported that the remaining three episodes of Daisies and the final four of DSM and Eli Stone wouldn’t be aired until this summer, to leave room in the schedule for reruns of Scrubs and Lost. (Which, in all fairness, are generating much higher numbers than any of the shows they’re replacing ever did.) The prospect of waiting six months to find out the fates of the Ned and Charlotte (and, um, whoever fans of those other two shows care about) is bad enough, but now it’s looking like even a summertime airdate might be pie in the sky. (Sorry, the absence of Pushing Daisies these past couple months has left me with a backlog of pie-related puns.)   

At the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Friday, ABC President Stephen McPherson praised those three shows, right before strongly hinting that they would eventually finish their runs online. From THR.com:

Critics asked about the fates of Wednesday night dramas “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Pushing Daisies,” which were knocked prematurely off the schedule last year because of the strike and returned to fatally low ratings.

“I really loved the shows. The producers delivered what they promised,” he says. “For us it was a frustration that we couldn’t get a larger audience – or that Nielsen says we couldn’t get a larger audience.”

McPherson adds that ABC still wants to make remaining episodes of both shows available, though producers were not able to craft satisfying series finales.

“We’ve like to air the ending of those shows,” he says. “I wish we had been able to give the producers series-ending notice so they could really have a finale.”

After the panel, McPherson says the network hopes to put the episodes online.

At this point it might be better to just hold out for the DVDs. In the meantime, Pushing Daisies fans, I leave you with this.