Category: Desperate Housewives

Upfronts: Why ABC benched Shonda Rhimes' and Matthew Perry's new shows

OfftheMap
When ABC announced its fall lineup Tuesday morning, there were a couple of glaring omissions: Shonda Rhimes' new medical drama, "Off the Map," and Matthew Perry's single-camera comedy, "Mr. Sunshine."

Both of those shows packed some buzz behind them during pilot season and were picked up, but ABC didn't schedule them for the fall. Why?

Created by Jenna Bans ("Grey's Anatomy") and produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"), "Off the Map" is about five young doctors who run from their personal demons to a tiny town in the South American jungle that has one understaffed medical clinic. Hoping to score gold again with a post-"Desperate Housewives" mid-season launch, as it did with "Grey's," ABC has opted to premiere the series next year on Sundays after "Housewives." To make room for the new show, the network plans to move "Brothers & Sisters" to a new night.

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"Mr. Sunshine"
stars Matthew Perry, who has co-written the pilot, as the self-involved manager of a second-rate San Diego sports arena who begins to reevaluate his life after his 40th birthday. The single-camera comedy, along with the comedy "Happy Endings," has been held because there was no time slot available. By choosing to premiere "No Ordinary Family," on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., the network lost its only hour available to pair the two comedies. Both of them are expected to premiere in late fall, after ABC can evaluate the performance of the seven new series it has scheduled.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

twitter.com/writerchica

Top photo: John Galindez and Jason George in "Off the Map." Credit: Craig Sjodin / ABC. Bottom photo: The cast of "Mr. Sunshine," from left to right: Portia Doubleday, Nate Torrence, Allison Janney, Matthew Perry, James Lesure and Andrea Anders. Credit: Bob D'Amico / ABC

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'Desperate Housewives': Tick, tick ... boom

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So, I guess this is goodbye?

I wrestled with how to say this exactly. How to make the words leave my lips or at least pull them together mentally and get my fingers to type. I haven't been shy in saying I’ve felt this season of “Desperate Housewives” has been beyond lackluster. The mystery, Katherine, that plane crash -- gosh, make it stop. Never have I been so happy, so ecstatic, to see a show end for the season. It was about time Marc Cherry & Co. put this little season out of its misery.

As I’ve said before, with any good -- or ghastly -- mystery, at some point it has to come to an end, and that time is now. Over the last six seasons, watching the whodunit unravel its ugly truths, has been an intense ride of highs and lows, although this season has had way too many lows. But, enough about that.  I could go on about the pitfalls of the season, but let’s focus on how it all ended.

The last few episodes did turn up the dial on my interest, so I had begun to think my patience had finally been rewarded after putting up with so much – I’m sorry, I’m still really bitter that Karl died and not Orson. 

Reader Jason agreed with me. He wrote: [T]o date I have been disappointed with this season. However I have enjoyed the last few episodes (particularly the one focusing on Eddie).  The sneak peak for next week indicated someone was going to die ... I hope it is actually a character of significance, as I’m tired of only the boring and uninteresting characters getting killed off (Carl [sic] was the biggest "surprise" to date - if you want to call it that). Maybe it's Tom's time to go ... or Parker Scavo ...... Andrew Van de Kamp??

Well, the episode didn’t turn out to be as predictable as I thought, and, thankfully, it was more satisfying than I had imagined it would be. 

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'Desperate Housewives': Finally a night worth riding

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I’ll be the first to say I loved every minute of this week’s “Desperate Housewives.” 

You read that right. This is a major compliment, coming from me of all people. I’ve never been shy with my harsh criticisms of this season – in particular, the Angie Bolen mystery. Although some people might just write me off as a bitter or jaded critic, that’s not the case. As a longtime fan of the show, I’ve developed a tolerance for lackluster plot lines, weak characters and “oh no, that was it” moments. But, I usually throw all of that out of the window toward the end of the season when, magically, the heat is turned up. And though I should have known better, this season is no different.

Another week with more attention given to tying up the loose ends on the Eddie, Sam and Bolen sagas. The timing, however, couldn’t be any better (though a little late), considering the season ends next week. Granted, some viewers may have tuned out by now and for plenty of reasons. This season was, for lack of a better term, a hot mess. Some of you might have called it quits on the show when Katherine went all loony, and  others might not have been convinced by her soap-opera-esque girl-on-girl adventure and rode off into the sunset to other network dramas. (I know a few of you have because you wrote in.) Though I, overall, never cared for Katherine, I can admit she got a bit of the Edie treatment with her ending. Although I got a kick out of Bree’s sexual revolution, I couldn’t get behind the plane crash that left Karl dead and Orson injured. And oh yeah, Lynette is still pregnant! Whew, on paper, the season sounds like a crazy ride, but sadly the execution of it all at times was a little less roller coaster than it was Ferris wheel.

The show gained much-needed momentum when it was revealed who the “Fairview strangler” was -- just  as viewers had forgotten all about it.

Now that the secret is out to viewers that Eddie is the culprit, it's only a matter of time before the secret gets  around. On the surface, Eddie is very unassuming: nerdy, scrawny and a bit timid. I never had him pegged as a killer, which I admit kinda makes it brilliant. Last week in the Scavo household, he wasn’t adjusting so well; no surprise to anyone, right? After seeing more of what makes him tick, Lynette is really trying to work with him and even takes him to therapy. Sadly, he's used up his sympathy quota, and Lynette finally puts two and two together – with a little help from the cops (who have discovered his last two victims) and Eddie telling on himself. What a shame too. Judging by the look on his face at the end of the episode, he doesn’t take too well to his “new” mom figuring out he's killed his real one and, more than likely, Irena. I never connected the dots that it would be Eddie who would play a role in Lynette going into labor -- not sure I like that, but I'll reserve judgment.

Another mini-plot that has my attention is the ongoing drama with Sam, partly because I’m so frustrated with the hold he has on Bree. Obviously, I watch too many dramas because I’m way past idle threats. This boy needs more than a few pudgy cops to tell him what could hypothetically happen to him if he continues to be a problem. I’m with Andrew; call in some better favors. I’m sure someone on Wisteria Lane could bust his kneecaps or make him disappear forever. Though kudos to Sam for threatening to turn Andrew and Bree in for the car accident that killed Carlos' mother. Way to bring back a great Season 1. With Sam having some old-fashioned blackmail up his sleeve, how will Bree fire back?

Now this leaves the Bolen drama.

Patrick Logan continues to up the ante, this time demanding Angie construct a bomb to use against some loggers in Oregon, or something uninteresting like that. Again I say I’ve never felt creeped out, or even convinced, by the whole eco-terrorist plot line. There is something that just doesn’t work for me, at all. No matter how hard I try, and goodness knows I've tried. I think I genuinely have a hard time with eco-terrorists that like to bomb things – that just screams hypocrisy to me, but what do I know, I rarely recycle (kill me). I've been much more interested in seeing Patrick in action, without caring about his motives because they are still a bit laughable to me. Again coming full circle in a well-paced hour, Angie asks for help by stuffing a note in the lasagna Gaby prepared using one of her recipes. Poor Danny, his little cafe buddy turned out to be a raving lunatic, and his real dad.

I’m beginning to think my patience has finally been rewarded, even if the ending next week is predictable -- which it totally is. The last few episodes have been a great ride in a train wreck of a season. Here's hoping everyone hasn't jumped off the train just yet.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter

Photos: John Barrowman guest stars on "Desperate Housewives." Credit: ABC

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Al Gore, Shonda Rhimes, Maria Shriver to be honored by TV academy [Updated]

Former Vice President Al Gore, "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes and TV journalist Maria Shriver are slated to be honored Wednesday during the Third Annual Television Academy Honors, which salute the "power of television."

The ceremony, which is being held by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, will celebrate TV shows that "have had significant impact on the viewing audience and the ability to spark social change." The honors will be hosted by Dana Delany of "Desperate Housewives."

The honored projects include "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." "Glee," "'Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?' with Maria Shriver," "Inside Death Row," "Vanguard" and "Private Practice."

[Updated: A previous version of this post misspelled the first name of Shonda Rhimes and last name of Dana Delany.]

-- Greg Braxton

'Desperate Housewives': John Barrowman lights a fire on Wisteria Lane

Drea

As with any good -- and even not-so-good -- mystery, at some point it has to come to an end.

Each year, no matter how viewers may feel about them personally, seeing how the season-long mystery unravels its ugly truth is always a treat. This brings us to this season’s whodunit.

For 20 years the Bolens have been running, fleeing from this elusive yet dangerous Patrick Logan. We’ve been told very little over the course of the season, though it’s been pretty simple to fill in the blanks. Angie, hoping to change the world, teamed up with Patrick to do his dirty work. Things took a turn for the worse, someone died and she ran off with Nick -- an undercover agent closing in on them -- and Danny/Tyler, her unborn child with Patrick. Insert all the years they were running [here] and the family is now on Wisteria Lane. Caught up?

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'Desperate Housewives': Monsters are created by monsters

Mary_alice

"His name was Eddie. Everyone thought he was harmless," Mary Alice (who has to be the hardest-working dead character around) says in her usual introductory voice-over.

As you know, last week we were surprised with the identity of the “Fairview Strangler”:  Eddie, Preston's and Danny's best friend.

But how did sweet, sweet, zit-faced, stringy-haired Eddie turn out to be such a cold-hearted killer? The episode decides to take a trip onto the good ol' storytelling vehicle that is the flashback.

Our first glimpse of Eddie is as a 4-year-old when a very much alive Mary Alice passes him as he sits outside, alone and unattended as his parents have a screaming match inside the house. Mary Alice, being the good neighbor she is, stays by his side even as his father walks out of his life and  shouts that he never wanted him. Eddie’s mom turns to the sauce, as if booze will solve everything. She even tells her son, “It’s OK, it’s not your fault you ruined my life.”

It’s then that Eddie turns toward the other women in Fairview to fill that void. 

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'Desperate Housewives': Killers young and old on the loose

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The Housewives were back after a lengthy hiatus, and one thing is for certain – they are just as desperate as ever, a joke that at this point in the season never gets old. 

Sadly, the cast and crew didn’t get to enjoy a quiet hiatus.

Almost out of the blue, my favorite killed-off housewife, Nicollette Sheridan, filed a lawsuit against ABC Studios and show creator Marc Cherry for assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination. Sheridan claims that Cherry struck her in an alleged incident on set on Sept. 24, 2008 (my birthday, if anyone cares), according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. After the 46-year-old actress complained to ABC about the incident, she was later fired, with her final episode airing last April, according to the lawsuit. 

I thought her demise was incredibly unnecessary -- her presence has been sorely missed on the Lane -- and the lawsuit has left one heck of a bad taste in my mouth. I prefer my scandals to be pure fiction; it’s not fun when they cross over into the real world with lawyers and all that unpleasant messiness.

As for the Housewives still breathing on the Lane? This was an uninspired episode full of recycled story lines – minus a few surprises.

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Nicollette Sheridan vs. Marc Cherry: Wisteria Lane's real drama

Getprev

Ever since Nicollette Sheridan filed a lawsuit this week against ABC Studios and “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry for, among other things, assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination one obvious question has lingered - why did she wait so long?

The impetus for the legal action seems to have largely stemmed from an alleged incident on the set of the hit show on September 24, 2008 when Sheridan claims that Cherry struck her, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. After the 46-year-old actress complained to ABC about the incident, she was later fired, with her final episode airing last April, according to the lawsuit.

Sources with knowledge of the events say that the 46-year-old Sheridan made no secret last year about her displeasure over her character's untimely demise and further was disappointed with her final pay upon her exit from the show. When efforts to increase her compensation failed, she threatened to sue -- and this week she finally made good on that threat, sources said.

Sheridan’s lawyers, Mark Baute and Patrick M. Maloney, declined to be interviewed but issued a lengthy statement on her behalf:

“Nicollette worked very hard on the show and was a model employee. Mr. Cherry's behavior toward Nicollette was and is nothing short of abusive and appalling. The lawsuit is not something Nicollette wanted to do. It is something she felt compelled to do. Nicollete asked ABC for help and protection from Mr. Cherry's abusive behavior and ultimately ABC was not willing or able to provide that protection. Sometimes the only way that a safe and normal work environment can be created is when a hard-working person like Nicollette stands up for herself and her rights, and in doing so, helps protect others who have had to work in a hostile environment.  We expect the case to be hard-fought, and it will not be a surprise if ABC and Mr. Cherry try to depict Nicollette to be something other than a team player and longstanding industry professional. She put her heart and soul into the role of the Edie character, a character that she truly enjoyed playing.”

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'Desperate Housewives': Mom always loves you best (not)

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“You should never trust family photos. They are designed to be deceiving,” Mary Alice affirms as a montage of photographs of the Van De Kamp family fills the screen.

Photos, like families, are indeed deceiving. The great thing about photos is you can just change the pose and snap another one, yet families are forever. But as the women proved on this week's episode, like a bad photo, families can be corrected with a new pose and the bright flash of the camera's bulb.

Although the episode moved along a number of storylines -- Sam becoming an official Van De Kamp, Preston and Irina’s unexpected nuptials, Katherine and Robin exploring their relationship and, of course, setting up the end of the Bolen’s season-long mystery -- there was one distraction that lingered in each household.

The housewives' complete control and dominance and their need to control their children took center stage. Now this isn’t the first time that I have noticed this ongoing theme. It seems to be the foundation for Lynette’s character, but it works given her "I wear the pants in this house" attitude. And, frankly, I’ve always liked it about her character, considering Tom’s lackadaisical approach to parenting and how close Lynette mirrors the everyday, hard-working mom who wears a million hats.  And this theme has been constant in the Van De Kamp family for good reason. Bree always had her work cut out for her, especially in the early seasons, when Danielle and Andrew needed less silver-spoon treatment and more rusty belt.

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'Desperate Housewives': The mystery could have really stayed in the closet

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The secrets of two of the housewives are, well, out of the closet.

In one of the better episodes of the season, things continue to heat up between Robin and Katherine, who of course is in denial about being a “leprechaun”; her denial is thrown into overdrive when Robin inadvertently outs her by greeting her love with a steamy good-morning kiss in front of a baffled Susan. That’s the worst person to get outed in front of. You might as well have had sex in public if you didn’t want the whole town to know.

Another outed housewife is our favorite mysterious temperamental housewife, Angie (Drea de Matteo).
When we left the housewives last, Angie had discovered that Danny had gone to New York to chase after Ana in hopes of getting back with her -- this of course being a major problem, considering the history the Bolens left behind in the Big Apple.

I haven’t truly embraced de Matteo on the Lane, and for good reason. The mystery surrounding her has been overwhelmingly weak, at best. Her leaving is a good thing because Marc Cherry confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that she will be exiting the show in May. He also promised that as her character begins to unravel, “everyone will get how brilliant she is.” 

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'Desperate Housewives': The chase is on

119295_1664_preIs there a new Housewife on the Lane?

Julie Benz continued to spice up Wisteria this week after seducing Katherine, who had been having steamy dreams involving food and sex – gourmet French toast has never been so deliciously sexy.

Last week, our readers seemed to be a bit split on Benz’s role as the former stripper who is trying to find a career, and now Katherine’s heart. 

"I hope the 'stripper' doesn't stick around for too long. She's not interesting at all. I think 'Desperate' is getting too desperate," Ann said.

While Justin wrote, “I actually hope they keep Julie Benz on the show for a good while. The show's been in need of an Edie replacement for a while, and I'm not seeing Angie making it past this season.”

Whether or not Benz stays or for how long might still be up in the air, but one thing is certain. Her small arc has already grown infinitely more interesting than the Angie Bolen mystery -- sorry, I’m hoping her little trip to New York to rescue Danny leads to a blood splattered conclusion for the family.

It’s not Benz’s sex appeal that is appealing to me and maybe some viewers – though it certainly doesn’t hurt for those wanting to see the vampy void left behind by Edie Brit (Nicollette Sheridan) filled – it’s her charm and chemistry with Katherine that has won me over.

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'Desperate Housewives': Sealed with a kiss

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Everyone loves a stripper, right?

Of course not.

Not when it’s Wisteria Lane and you factor in: (a) wandering-eye husbands, (b) warm-blooded teenage boys and (c) jealous, catty women.

Robin (Julie Benz) is on the Lane for a little while longer after Susan let her move in out of guilt. Remember last week when I said I thought housing a stripper would be a bad idea and stir up a whole big ol' pot of nasty drama? Well of course that happens.

I’d like to say I’m so smart, but it didn’t take brains or an advanced knowledge of dramatic plot lines (both of which I think I have) to spot the conflict a mile away. But I wasn’t prepared for Robin to affect all of the housewives' lives.

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