Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has just signed a multi-year deal with ABC, locking him in to the dramatic comedy until May 2011. This four-year deal ensures that Cherry will helm the series through the series’ seventh season. What will happen to the Wisteria Lane residents after that? Nothing, if Cherry has his way.
Desperate Housewives debuted on October 3, 2004 and quickly became one of the breakout hits of the season. Over 21 million people watched the pilot episode making it the highest rated ABC pilot since Michael J. Fox’s Spin City eight years earlier. Starring Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan, the series centers around five suburban women and their families and friends in the fictional town of Fairview. The series got a bit off track creatively in its second season but the third (and current) season has seen Cherry resume a more active role. As a result, Desperate Housewives continues to be a staple of ABC’s Sunday night lineup, consistently garnering great ratings. And the network wants to keep it that way.
When ABC secured the Housewives creator with the estimated $15+ million deal, Cherry said, “The studio and the network and I all feel it’s best for me to stay glued to the set. I’ve got my ship, and I’m gonna run it.” If Cherry has his way this contract will also coincide with the end for series, saying, “I think that, at the end of my deal, and after seven seasons, it will be a good time to call it quits. I don’t want anyone else to run the show, and I don’t want us to fade away.” He acknowledged that network executives may not share his vision but says he’s serious in his intent to finish the series after seven years. “I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
Not surprised by Cherry’s feelings, ABC Television Studio President Mark Pedowitz said “He has always said he sees this as a seven-year show, but nobody’s made any determinations that it will end after seven years. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Pedowitz also acknowledges that it would be difficult to continue Housewives without its creator and says that the show is an enormous asset. “It would be silly to do something without Marc Cherry involved.”
On top of that, ABC has also reportedly negotiated contracts with all of the key Desperate Housewives actors to keep them on the show until 2011 as well. If ABC wanted to try to extend the series past season seven, it would ultimately be a very expensive move. Of course there’s no guarantee that the show will last until 2011 but still, I think it’s pretty safe for Bree to start planning the wrap party. Stay tuned!