‘Desperate Housewives’ cast, creator look back on eight seasons

“Television has changed so much from when we first aired — a scripted show to get 25 million viewers and the critics loved us,” reflects star Eva Longoria, far right (her co-stars, from left, are:?Vanessa Williams, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher). “And then we got some knocks for certain episodes or certain lines,” she adds. “I give kudos to Marc Cherry and ABC because they’ve pushed the envelope.” The series finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Favorite scenes
One of the most memorable scenes throughout eight seasons of scandal in the suburbs was when Susan (Teri Hatcher) got locked out of her house — naked — in Season 1. Recalling the shoot, Hatcher says, “we always start at 6 in the morning up there on Wisteria Lane on the top of Universal [Studios], the most beautiful place to work in Los Angeles. And it was a new wardrobe girl. Her name was Susan. [I say,] ‘Hi, Susan. Nice to meet you. I’m Teri.’ [She says,] ‘Can we please take some gaffer’s tape and cover your nipples and your crotch?’ And I walk to the set, and I was in a robe, and it was going to be six hours of shooting this from every angle. It was really a dance, and it was an amazing, amazing experience.”

The storyline they didn’t think they could pull off
“I’ll tell you one thing that I didn’t think we were ever going to get away with — because I had fans threatening my life for years,” says series creator Marc Cherry. “I didn’t think we were ever going to be able to split Tom (Doug Savant) and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) up, because that relationship was so treasured and so a lot of the fans really related to it.”

Yet the beloved couple did break up in Season 8, which Huffman calls simply “upsetting.” She and Savant didn’t get to work together as much, “and working with Doug is one of my favorite things,” Huffman says. “But I think [the crumbling of the relationship rings] true and I think that’s one of the nice things about the [portrayal of the] marriage.” Happily for fans of the couple, it appears they’re on their way to reconciliation.

The pop culture impact
It would be hard to imagine Bravo’s privileged-ladies-behaving-badly “Real Housewives” franchise becoming such a hit without “Desperate Housewives” paving the way. The catfights, shocking deaths and questionable parenting that took place — in fabulous clothing, nonetheless — on Wisteria Lane  drew nearly 24 million viewers in its first season.
   
“The show became essential watercooler fodder, particularly for women who had just aged out of ‘Sex in the City,’” says Dwight DeWerth-Pallmeyer, Ph.D., who is the director of communication studies at Widener University. “While the Wisteria Lane women were easier to identify with than the women from ‘Sex”s Manhattan, their stories were just as exotic, involving murder, kidnapping, extortion, blackmail and other niceties of suburban living. Of course, these women were generally richer than most suburban moms, their lives more dramatic and their physiques more beautiful. But that’s the nature of television. It entertains us by holding up models of people we could never really be.”

The (totally secret) grand finale

Cherry has had a vision of the series’ final scenes in his head since the very beginning.

“As always happens with my wonderful writers, I said, ‘Well, this is what I want to do,’ and then they started adding things,” Cherry says. “It definitely got better … but the general premise has always been the same.”

Keep an eye out, too, for a cameo by Cherry himself in Sunday’s series capper.

“I’m going to do a Hitchcock,” he adds.


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