If you’re hoping for a Desperate Housewives revival — even if it doesn’t include all the original cast members — don’t count on it.
We asked series creator Marc Cherry today at TCA whether he’d even consider one, and he said: “I did 180 episodes of Desperate Housewives, unlike a Sex and the City, which was on cable and didn’t do as many. I feel like I’ve done that, and in a weird way, I found a new way to do it because so many of themes that I get to deal with are on this show.” And by show, we mean Cherry’s new 10-episode CBS All Access series Why Women Kill. It’s about three different women in three different decades — a housewife in the ’60s (Ginnifer Goodwin), a socialite in the ’80s (Lucy Liu) and a lawyer in 2018 (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) — who deal with infidelity in their marriages. And, of course, this being Cherry’s world, there’s murder involved.
Also, if he were to revive Desperate Housewives, he’d have to contend with another challenge.
“[With Why Women Kill] it’s streaming and I do 10 episodes and it’s over,” he said. “The thing I went through [with Desperate Housewives] that was so difficult was cliffhangers. ‘OK, I got to do a cliffhanger every year and their lives have to change completely’ — and, oh, God, that’s so hard.”
Creating a streaming series also gives Cherry independence — not just with foul language (“I have so much fun using the word F*ck!”) but also not to be shackled from executing certain storylines. During his days on Desperate Housewives, Cherry was forbidden from writing certain dicey plots and themes, ones that are OK in the current network-verse.
Specifying one of the Desperate Housewives plots that ABC killed, Cherry says, “I was not allowed to do an abortion storyline, and I’ve seen many people do it — and on ABC, interestingly enough.”
Cherry added more detail on which character it would have impacted. “It was going to be a new character, and it was going to be a new thing,” he said,. “That was swatted away so quickly.”