I hear ABC is considering a two-season renewal for Desperate Housewives that may mark the end of the successful ABC dramedy. There have been indications that ABC may go for a straight two-year pickup, including making deals with key writers on the show. Creator/executive producer Marc Cherry already has a deal in place with producing studio ABC Studios for three more years. If Desperate Housewives indeed ends its run after eight seasons, he is expected to focus on development in the final year of his deal. ABC brass has been anxiously awaiting a new project from Cherry, who flirted with development this year with two projects, a dramedy and a half-hour, but couldn’t devote time on them with his attention on running Desperate Housewives. In 2008, Cherry had said he envisioned Desperate Housewives ending after nine seasons. The core four actresses on the show, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria Parker and Marcia Cross, have deals through next season. They have been approached by ABC Studios about agreeing to options for two more seasons but there has been little communication between the actresses and the studio on the matter.
Meanwhile over at Grey’s Anatomy, which recently saw original cast member Katherine Heigl exit, the key cast members, including Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey also have deals through next season. I hear that at least Dempsey and possibly Pompeo too may not want to continue on the show beyond that. Of course, as an ensemble medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy may reinvent itself and continue with new central characters the way ER did through a series of cast departures. Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, both of which launched during the 2004-05 season, are down in the ratings by double digits this season but continue to be ABC’s top scripted series along with departing Lost, also from the 2004-05 freshman class.