It’s the final season of “Desperate Housewives,” and the ladies (and men) of Wisteria Lane came out for press tour along with creator Marc Cherry and Executive Producer Bob Daily to talk about the show’s final days. That didn’t mean, however, that Cherry was forthcoming with information (or at least not much information). When asked if original housewife Nicolette Sheridan might return, he made it clear that, despite the reporter’s understanding, he’d never implied anyone in particular would be returning to the show. “What I said was that I hoped to do something that paid an homage to characters who came before. I’m so not revealing what the end is going to be. It’s very much a surprise and I’m hyper-protective of it. No comment on that.”
When prompted, the stars admitted there were still a few things they hadn’t been able to do on the show if Cherry was accepting ideas. “I said I wanted to walk around in a bikini, but it was just a joke,” Marcia Cross said.
“I kind of wanted to ride a horse and shoot a gun, but ‘Entourage’ kind of took that over,” Felicity Huffman added.
“As you can see, sometimes this isn’t the best creative method,” Cherry wisecracked.
What Cherry did reveal was that he’ll be making a cameo in the last episode, a revelation that made his cast hoot in appreciation. “I’m gonna do a Hitchcock,” he said. “And the hair and make-up people will go through more hell that day than they’ve ever been through.”
Cherry would say that this final season was a chance to pull out all the stops, while Dailey added, “We have tried to have as many echoes as possible of the first season,” he said. “We’re trying to do that the whole season.”
Still, the ending of the show will be strikingly similar to Cherry’s original vision, which he claims to have had in mind since the first episode. “The last act I had in mind seven and a half years ago is absolutely what we’re going to do,” he said. “What was cool was sharing it with the writers, and as always happened, they started adding things… and it got better. But the general premise is the same.”
One storyline that got special attention during the panel was the break-up of Lynette(Felicity Huffman) and Tom (Doug Savant)’s marriage. As rough as the split may have been for fans, it was also hard for the actors involved. “We actually started fighting off screen,” Huffman said. “Art imitated life or life imitated art, I guess. But in the eighth year, you get to go places you’ve never been before. It’s been upsetting, and we don’t get to work together as much, but I think it’s true. Sixty percent of first marriages end in divorce and 80 percent of second marriages do.”
Eva Longoria, who recently split from NBA player Tony Parker, leaned forward and yelled, “It gets HIGHER?”, a comment that got a considerable laugh from the audience. “Three times the charm,” she joked. “Then it goes way up.”
Cherry said that anyone hoping for a “Desperate Housewives” movie will not be getting their wish. “I’ve been asked the feature question before,” he said, mentioning that he had a brief discussion about the topic with “Sex and the City”‘s Michael Patrick King. “There were only 69 episodes of ‘Sex and the City,’ so they hadn’t really plumbed the depths of those characters. After eight years, boy, I think we’re done. I feel very satisfied with where we are. I’m never sending these girls to Dubai, that’s all I’m saying.”
But Cherry suggested there’s more drama ahead on the remaining episodes, especially for Lynette and Tom. “I didn’t think we’d ever get away with splitting [them] up, because a lot of fans really related to them,” he said. “But by the time we went through this, we put everyone through such sturm und drang, the writers said, let’s just rip ’em apart. But we’ve got some interesting twists to come and I think everyone will find it a satisfying conclusion.”
Of course, the cast, many of whom talked about the sense of family they felt on the show, had their thoughts about dealing with the ending. What will Longoria do? “Cry,” she said.
Huffman added, “This is like having the funeral before you die.”
But Cherry was more sanguine. “There’s the thing, people ask me if it’s bittersweet. No. It’s sweet. There’s no such thing as a job that goes on forever. I was so fucked, I was in 100,000 in debt to my mother, I went three years without an interview, I had friends who didn’t even call for a while, so I wrote this script… and all hell broke loose. Even the bad stuff is good, even those days when I’m exhausted. I’m 50 pounds thinner than I was that first season, because I was eating carbs non-stop because I had to write so much… but even during the bad times, it was fantastic. Another show comes along and it’s the hot show, I’m like good for you. For everything there is a season, and our season is coming to an end. And we’re so grateful.”