Marc Cherry, the creator of "Desperate Housewives," has known for seven years what the last act of the series will be when the show finally reaches its end later this year.
And no, he's not talking.
"I'm so not revealing it," said Cherry at a session about the series during the ABC portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour. "I'm hyper protective. It's a secret."
He said the show, now in its eighth season, would tie up many loose ends, including many from the first season. Several characters from past seasons will also show up as a sort of homage, he said.
But whether Nicolette Sheridan, who left the series in 2009 after reported clashes with Cherry, would return remained a mystery. Her character, Edie Britt, was killed off and she later filed a lawsuit against him alleging abuse and wrongful termination.
Even though the series is struggling this season, Cherry repeatedly talked about how satisfied he was with it: "We all feel so fulfilled. I got to work out a lot of family issues."
He said he's often asked if the end is bittersweet, and he said, "It's completely sweet. There's no such thing as a job that goes on forever. Everything comes to an end."
Several cast members said they would miss the camaraderie of working together on the show. "This is like our own little village," said Vanessa Williams, who joined the series two seasons ago. "It's like a community."
Cherry said one of the highlights of the series was establishing a storyline that he thought fans would not let him get away with -- breaking up the marriage between Lynette and Tom Scavo (Felicity Huffman and Doug Savant).
Huffman said the two started fighting off-screen. "It was interesting but also upsetting. I didn't get to work together with Doug, which is one of my favorite things to do on the show." But she noted that the plot was realistic, saying that 50% of first marriages end in divorce and 80% of second marriages end in divorce.
That prompted a quick comeback from co-star Eva Longoria, whose marriage to basketball star Tony Parker ended in 2010. "God, it gets harder?
PHOTO: Left to right, Vanessa Williams, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Terri Hatcher and Marcia Cross of "Desperate Housewives."
Credit: Matthew Rolston / ABC