Order : "DVDs Season 1"

   31 January 2005 - 'Housewives' star joins 'Sentinel' cast

Source : Canoe

"Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria is joining Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Douglas and Kim Basinger in the thriller "The Sentinel," Production Weekly reports.

The film, based on the book by ex-Secret Service worker Gerald Petievich, centres on an agent (Douglas) who is framed for murder while investigating a plot to kill the President of the United States.

"The Sentinel," which is being directed by Clark Johnson ("S.W.A.T."), begins shooting in Toronto in mid-May.

Longoria's other movie credits include "Carlita's Secret" and "Snitch'd."

   31 January 2005 - Nicollette Sheridan's Emotional Interview

Source : ET Online

DIANE SAWYER took a trip down Wisteria Lane with the talented ladies of "Desperate Housewives" for an upcoming segment of "Good Morning America," airing Friday, Feb. 4, on ABC.

On tonight's ET, we get a sneak peek at Diane's heart-wrenching conversation with NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN, who plays Edie, as she gets the actress to open up about the person who was a major inspiration in her life: her grandmother. Nicollette tears up as she tells Diane that it was her grandmother who served as her life's inspiration.

Also on hand to show Diane around the most famous cul-de-sac currently on TV were series stars TERI HATCHER (Susan), EVA LONGORIA (Gabrielle), FELICITY HUFFMAN (Lynette) and MARCIA CROSS (Bree).

Diane also chats with executive producer/creator MARC CHERRY, who tells the GMA host how his own mother was the inspiration for the series.

   31 January 2005 - Now it's sex and the suburbs

Source : Herald Sun

THE controversial new TV series Desperate Housewives pokes fun at glamorous women trapped in suburban angst, but the show might have tapped a raw nerve.

On paper, my friend has it all. She lives in a beautiful house with her husband and two beautiful children. She doesn't work because her husband prefers her not to.He likes her at home looking fabulous, as opposed to fractious and worn out in the evening. What's not to envy? Yet, every time we meet, the script is the same: "I know it sounds awful because, on the surface, I have everything, but most days, inside, I feel nothing."

She has suffered depression and fantasises about the illicit thrill of an affair.

But she would never leave her husband or shake up her life because she knows she has it pretty damn good.

As I watched a preview episode of Desperate Housewives, the explosive new TV show that has taken the US by storm, I could not stop thinking about her.

Dubbed Sex and the Suburbs, this darkly comic series about suburban angst -- which airs tomorrow night on Channel 7 -- could be a more ironic version of my friend's life.

A satire of the American dream, it tells the stories of four well-heeled women who are not as happily married as they seem.

It has Middle America agog because it has eclipsed Sex and the City in terms of raunchy content, attractive, rake-thin women and, most importantly, ratings.

It centres on the lives of four headstrong women yet, unlike Sex and the City, this is not singleton territory.

The drama from Manhattan has moved on to the married turmoil of the white picket fences of suburbia.

They may appear to be living the American dream, but beneath the veneer lurk, menacingly, fear, rage and lust.

So, is this just a gloriously kitsch soap opera or has it got its finger on the pulse?

Psychologist Dr Pam Spurr, author of Sex, Guys & Chocolate, resoundingly says, "Yes". She believes Desperate Housewives has tapped into a huge vein of discontent in modern relationships.

"I constantly hear from women that the worst aspects of their relationships are boredom and stress," says Dr Spurr. "Chronic boredom leads to drinking, drugs and affairs."

Housewives seem to fall into two camps: the wife and mum who chose her role from the outset, and; the career woman who gave up earning power and status only to find motherhood was not all it was cracked up to be.

I have a clutch of friends in the latter camp -- university-educated women who adored their careers, but who became so demoralised in their late 30s, combining work demands with family and husband, they threw in the corporate towel.

Only now are they discovering that raging office politics was small fry compared with the abject pettiness of mums at the school gate.

"I worked my butt off at university, spent 20 years on my career and suddenly I am doing jigsaws all day. There are times when I could go ballistic," says a friend.

That is exactly the scenario that Desperate Housewives exploits so cleverly.

Creator Marc Cherry says he wrote the pilot after his mother admitted she could relate to Andrea Yates, a Texan mum who drowned her five children.

We meet the main protagonists through the eyes of the fifth woman in the clique, Mary Alice Young.

In the opener, after she has spent her day "quietly polishing the routine of my day until it gleamed with perfection", she shoots herself. She then narrates the series, Sunset Boulevard style, from the grave.

As they converge at her wake, we meet brunette Susan, a stunning single mother and recent divorcee.

Lynette is the blonde former career woman who has traded the boardroom for boredom.

Then there is sultry Gabrielle, former model with a vigorous libido and married to control-freak Alpha male Carlos.

Perhaps the most irritating, yet heart-breaking, character is Bree, a redheaded "Martha Stewart on Steroids".

It may be a send-up, but if you go through the motions of a life that looks good on paper, part of you dies inside.

   30 January 2005 - 'Housewives' Hunk Happy to Be a Hit

Source : Zap2It

ABC's Sunday smash "Desperate Housewives" has emerged as one of the TV season's bona fide phenomena, a bracingly original water-cooler show that has been embraced by critics and viewers across the country. All the ensuing hoopla is great fun, says "Desperate" cast member James Denton, but it pales next to something else every actor craves -- job security.

"To tell the truth, it's more relief than anything else," says the 42-year-old actor, who plays hunky Wisteria Lane plumber Mike Delfino on the tongue-in-cheek soap. "I've been on so many shows that were always 'on the bubble,' where you're constantly looking over your shoulder, waiting for the suits to arrive on the set and pull the plug.

"'Desperate Housewives' is a whole different paranoia for the actors: Everybody is scared they're going to get killed off, which is kind of different. Otherwise, it's just nice to go to work knowing that the network is behind us 200 percent." So far, only one prominent character -- Martha Huber, the neighborhood busybody played by Christine Estabrook -- has actually met her maker on the show. This is not counting Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong), whose startling suicide launched the show with such a literal bang last fall.

While there's a distinct undercurrent of menace and possible violence to the series, however, Denton is optimistic that Mike is going to be around for a while. For one thing, his romance with neighbor Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) is a front-burner story line. For another -- well, series creator Marc Cherry finally told him what's in store for Mike.

"For a long time, Marc resisted telling us what was going to be happening with our characters, partly because he didn't want us to feel awkward in interviews where we couldn't reveal certain things," Denton says. "But a couple of situations have come up in Mike's story where I needed to know some things that haven't been revealed to the audience or the other characters, so Marc finally just sat down and told me everything."

Denton doesn't want to spoil any surprises, but he's willing to clarify some important plot points. For example, Mike really is a plumber, although viewers will soon discover that he does have a somewhat darker side in upcoming episodes.

"When they aired the pilot, which ended showing Mike with a gun and having a questionable phone call, a lot of viewers understandably jumped to the conclusion that he was a cop or an FBI man or something," Denton says. "That's what I love about Marc Cherry's sense of humor. Nope, Mike's just a plumber with a gun."

He also has some surprises due to unfold any week now, the actor adds.

"There are a couple of huge bombs to be dropped about Mike and the big story line about Mary Alice's suicide, although I'm not going to say they're connected," Denton says. "I was happy to hear that, because any time you have an audience going along for the ride with you, you want them to be satisfied, so you don't want the payoff to be: 'I was in the shower all year.' No, this payoff is very smart, and I think everyone will be well-satisfied."

He's also grateful to add some new layers to his character, who has been Susan's knight in shining armor in many respects. That may win him sighs from female viewers, but bland niceness doesn't give an actor a lot to sink his teeth into.

"It's actually kind of interesting, this delicate balance we have to maintain, because you want Mike to be edgy enough to be interesting, but he also has to be a good enough person that the audience wants him and Susan to end up together."

Don't look for their romance to get smoother anytime soon.

"We had thought the triangle, which includes Nicolette Sheridan's Edie, had pretty much played itself out, but that hasn't proven to be the case, which is great because Nicolette is so much fun to work with," Denton says. "That leaves us free to play with the TV convention of bringing Mike and Susan together, then breaking us up, then bringing us back together."

Denton's amorous exploits with television's housewives aren't limited to his ABC gig, either. On Friday, Feb. 4, he guest stars on The WB sitcom "Reba," playing a marriage counselor who gets the title character (Reba McEntire) and her nemesis, Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman), in a romantic lather.

He agreed to the gig largely because "Reba" executive producer Kevin Abbott hired Denton for one of his first major Hollywood gigs: a busted 1998 sitcom pilot.

"When Kevin asked me if I would be interested, I jumped at it, because I love him and I'm a big fan of Reba's, being a Nashville kid," says Denton, a native of the Tennessee capital. "I had an episode off [on 'Housewives'], so the timing, everything, was right.

"We had a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing it," he adds. "Reba is just very good, naturally. But then, all those actors are just fantastic. It's a real shame that show doesn't get more promotion, because those actors are doing some really good work. I had a great time with them."

Otherwise, Denton is enjoying the fact that the large cast on "Housewives" means that even a major player like him gets ample time off to spend with wife Erin and their son, Sheppard, who turns 2 in March, the same month they await the birth of a daughter.

"And that will be it for us," he says. "We're really fortunate in that we were hoping to have one of each, and our family will be complete in March. With 10 series regulars and so many story lines, this show is just a perfect scenario when raising kids."


Source : Contact Music

LATEST: OPRAH WINFREY's desire to act again has been met with open arms - the creator of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES is now offering her a role.

The billionaire talk show host, who scored an OSCAR nomination for her role in the acclaimed movie THE COLOR PURPLE, had all but quit acting after the poor reception of her 1998 film BELOVED.

But after acting in a Desperate Housewives skit - written for her by the series' creator MARC CHERRY - on her chat show, Winfrey, said, "I thought I was done with my acting days, but I loved being a part of the Desperate Housewives so much that I'm thinking I might do something else soon."

And now Cherry assures, "I'll write anything she wants."

   30 January 2005 - Wisteria Lane: The 'Desperate' House Tour!

Source : ET Online

Wisteria Lane is the most talked about cul-de-sac on TV today, so when ET's KEVIN FRAZIER was invited to join the party on the "Desperate Housewives"' street, actually located on the backlot of Universal Studios, he put on his designer duds and headed out.

At first glance, Wisteria Lane appears to be just your average, upper-middle class neighborhood with lots of two-story homes with white picket fences, but not everything is as it seems. And Kevin quickly discovered that even the wisteria that creeps up the arbors and trellises on the oh-so-perfect looking lane is plastic!

But NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN, EVA LONGORIA, FELICITY HUFFMAN, MARCIA CROSS and their TV spouses couldn't have been more real as they gave Kevin a personal tour of their digs.

"It looks great," DOUG SAVANT (Tom Scavo) tells Kevin, "then you walk behind the doors and it's just a bunch of two-by-fours."

When Wisteria Lane was the home of NBC's "Providence," the houses were nothing more than facades. But the success of "Desperate Housewives" has resulted in four of the facades being built out into actual sets.

TERI HATCHER was home due to illness, but Kevin still stopped by her character's Wisteria Lane abode, which is one of the four houses that have been turned into an actual set. The prominent feature at Susan's, of course, is the big, bay window in the kitchen through which her character can check out the happenings in the neighborhood.

Next up was casa de Carlos (RICARDO ANTONIO CHAVIRA) and Gabrielle (Longoria). The first thing you notice when you enter their home is the gorgeous photos of Gabrielle that line the entry wall.

And getting back to everything is not as it appears to be, you get a bit of a surprise when you walk in the front door of the late Mary Alice (BRENDA STRONG) and Paul's (MARK MOSES) home.

"You walk into my house and it's Bree's house on the inside," Mark reveals.

And STEVEN CULP, who plays Rex, adds, "You walk into Bree and Rex's and its our bathroom. We film our living room scenes next door."

Of course, Edie's (Sheridan) home burned to the ground, so she has nowhere to go, but when Kevin caught up with the former "Knots Landing" actress, she was partying with her fiancé NICKLAS SODERBLOM and sporting her new diamond ring. The couple became engaged over the holidays.

   26 January 2005 - Mary Alice is keeping a secret, and you can hear it in her voice

Source : Sign On San Diego

UNIVERSAL CITY – If Mary Alice Young sounds as if she knows something you don't, it's because she does.

Among other things, Mary Alice knows why she committed suicide.

Mary Alice, of course, is one of the "Desperate Housewives," ABC's Sunday night comic soap opera that is TV's phenomenon of the season. She shot herself in the first episode, but remains a powerful presence, a droll, philosophical, omniscient observer of the adventures of her friends along flower-lined Wisteria Lane.

The flowers are fake, by the way. And so is Wisteria Lane, a row of generic suburban bungalows on the Universal Studios back lot. ABC threw a party there Sunday night, and the bus to Wisteria Lane wound by Cabot Cove, where Jessica Fletcher solved all the local murders, and zipped past several Old West towns and churches that were no more than steeples and false fronts.

Peeking inside the doors of Wisteria Lane and making inquiries, one learns that the outside of one house is the place where Mary Alice once lived, while the interior is the home of the obsessive Bree (Marcia Cross). Once upon a time, it was the home of Ward and June Cleaver and the Beaver.

And Gabrielle's (Eva Longoria) house? The frat house in "Animal House." Next door: the Munsters' gloomy mansion.

Whatever happens on Wisteria Lane, the voice of Mary Alice is never far away. She's played by tall, long-haired, green-eyed Brenda Strong, owner of her own yoga studio, and once known to fans of "Seinfeld" as "the braless wonder."

Strong, who lately finds that people recognize her by her voice when she's placing her order at Starbucks, got the job, said creator-producer Marc Cherry, because that voice made him feel "comfy. It's like a warm blanket just enveloped me."

Maybe so, but Strong's intonation also seems to say she knows more than she's telling. She does.

Only seen on screen a few times so far, beginning with that opening suicide sequence, Strong will get on camera more often in flashbacks in future episodes.

"You'll see flashbacks from 15 years ago, and you'll see my entire back story," Strong said in an interview following a press conference with Cherry and the cast. "So Mary Alice is going to have a long journey from 15 years forward."

Back when Mary Alice pulled the trigger, Strong didn't know why. Cherry finally explained it to her at a cast Christmas party. She wishes he hadn't. "It was much nicer when I didn't know, because ignorance in some ways is bliss," she said. "It's a huge responsibility knowing the inner weavings of the wives of Wisteria Lane, as twisted as it is."

When she did learn the answer, Strong said, she was "very impressed. I had no clue that that's where it was going. There were little tidbits, but I didn't get the whole puzzle."

Her delivery, she admitted, carries "a sense of irony, of 'I wish I could tell them what I know now.' So there's a little sardonic twist to the voice. I definitely enjoy those lines. I find it wherever I can."

She also admitted to "a little bit of a secret" in the quality of her voice-over, "a little bit of an 'I'm withholding and I'll tell you when I'm ready' kind of a thing. Mary Alice is the keeper of the secrets in certain respects, and she will be the revealer of certain intimate secrets as each episode progresses."

Strong said she was having a difficult time finding exactly the right tone for Mary Alice's voice until director Michael Edelstein told her to "'drop your voice down into your heart.' As soon as that happened, the tone changed, the feel of it changed, the entire resonance of my own experience of the words changed."

The change also allowed Strong to establish her emotional connection to Mary Alice, "because she really loved these women, and if she had it to do over again, she wouldn't have committed suicide. Now she sees that everybody is struggling, and she could have lived through this, it would have been OK."

So, why did Mary Alice commit suicide? She didn't say.

   26 January 2005 - OPRAH is desperate to be a housewife

Source : New York Post

The queen of daytime TV has filmed a "Desperate Housewives" skit featuring the stars of ABC's new hit nighttime soap and written by creator Marc Cherry.

The sketch will air on "Oprah" Feb. 3.

"I thought I was done with my acting days, but I loved being a part of the 'Desperate Housewives' so much that I might do something else soon," Winfrey told television critics gathered in Los Angeles. "You got any ideas? I'm open."

It was just about a year ago that Oprah announced that she would no longer be an actor. Her last acting gig was in the 1998 film "Beloved."

"I don't have any desire to return," she told Larry King last winter in a rare TV interview about being an actor.

Now she seems to have made an about-face.

"I go to [Susan's] house and see her falling in the [bushes]," Winfrey said. "I go to Mike's house and find the money. I see Gabrielle and the gardener in bed — it's outstanding."

On the show, Teri Hatcher plays hapless mom Susan Mayer, James Denton plays her mysterious boyfriend, Mike Delfino, and Eva Longoria plays their spicy neighbor, Gabrielle Solis.

The series also stars Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman and Nicollette Sheridan. All three were nominated along with Hatcher for Golden Globe Awards, while Hatcher took the statue home.

Responding to a question about which housewife she most identifies with, Oprah said, "None of them — I can't believe you have a street with that many housewives and nobody has a butt. No-bo-dy. Who has a street with that many thin women?"

"Desperate Housewives" follows the lives, loves and lusts of a group of women who live in the suburbs on a street called Wisteria Lane.

Since its debut last fall, the show has become the highest rated new series of the season and won two Golden Globes and a People's Choice Award for best new drama.

   26 January 2005 - Bringing Up Baby

Source : Entertainment Weekly

When kids stay bad on ''Desperate Housewives'': The women learn that difficult little boys grow up to be difficult little boys by Jeremy Helligar

SINS OF THE FATHER-IN-LAW Lynette's husband's dad (Ryan O'Neal) has never had to say he's sorry

Seems everyone on Wisteria Lane has parenting woes. Lynette's troubles have been well-documented here, so we'll move right along to Zach, who tells his dad that he wishes his mom had shot his dad instead of offing herself. Then there's Susan's little angel, Julie, who is in the throes of first-time puppy love with Zach. Meanwhile, Gabrielle's ex-boy toy, John, is rebelling by underachieving (not surprising, considering his frosty mom, who seems capable of rivaling Bree's uptight perfectionism). And Bree's kids . . . well, her son, who was thankfully absent from this episode, could conceivably grow up to be a homicidal rage-aholic. But hopefully, we'll be spared that story line.

Now I'm not going to condone listening in on other people's phone conversations. But sometimes kids leave us no choice. At first I was at a loss to understand Susan's actions — and I'm still not sure that I agree with them. So what that she walked in on her daughter kissing a boy at the kitchen table? Julie is 14! Susan should count her blessings that a little mouth-to-mouth action was all she saw. Perhaps she's worried that the creepy guy will grow up to be a major nutjob. She's probably right. But doesn't she know that forbidden fruit is always more desirable?

John's mom and dad (the father's lusty scene with Gabrielle was the night's creepiest) also have a love-struck kid on their hands. Not only is John prepared to compromise his future by not going to college, but he also wants to marry his already married statutory rapist. Poor kid. He's got a lot to learn. It's hard to believe that a hottie high schooler like him wouldn't be out there playing the field. Sure John and Gabrielle must have had great sex. But there's never been any indication that there was anything more to their relationship than a horizontal connection. At least his proposal resulted in yet another classic throwaway Gabrielle line: ''I've tried poor but happy. Guess what? It wasn't that happy.''

Then there are the overgrown kids on Wisteria Lane. Rex. Carlos. Paul. And tonight's sexagenarian guest star, Ryan O'Neal. Sometimes casting is everything. (By the way, Desperate Housewives excels at non-stunt guest star placement, from casting Frasier's agent as Martha Huber's sister to casting Tony winner Roger Bart as Bree's would-be paramour.) And who better to play grandpa to four out-of-control kids than O'Neal? After all, he is, if his daughter Tatum's recent autobiography is to be believed, the quintessential father from hell. And a womanizer to boot. At least on the show he seems to have been a good enough father to Tom. But did he pass some of those womanizing genes on to his son?

It's a good thing Lynette rules Tom with an iron fist. Locking him out when he sided with his philandering dad was a nice touch. Imagine what she would do were he to confess infidelity. If only her mothering skills were so effective.

What did you think? Did the jealous pharmacist switch Rex's pills? Do you really believe Tom could ever cheat on Lynette? And is any man on this show worthy of these women?

   26 January 2005 - Desperate Housewives: Nicolette Sheridan Nude Pictures Up For Sale

Source : FemaleFirst

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star NICOLETTE SHERIDAN is reeling because a former friend is selling what he claims are raunchy photographs of the blonde actress.

American newspaper NEW YORK POST reports an ex-pal of the 41-year-old star, who plays sex mad divorcee EDIE BRITT in the hit ABC show, is offering the images to the highest bidder.

The unnamed man says, "I think they are beautiful pictures and they should be seen. She doesn't want me to sell them. But the way I look at it, if MR BLACKWELL named her the worst-dressed person, she might as well be th e least-dressed person."

Despite the former friend's sales strategy, PLAYBOY has turned down the chance to publish the photos, but HUSTLER magazine is reported to be interested.

   26 January 2005 - ABC chief praises 'Housewives' and 'Lost'

Source : Canoe

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The series that turned the Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC television network around was initially just about Marc Cherry's mom - but it wound up appealing to a lot more desperate housewives, and their husbands, too.

"I was trying to write the truth of one woman, but I felt if I was writing it well enough, I was writing it for many, many women," said Cherry, who created Desperate Housewives.

He got the idea while watching a news story about Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who drowned her children, and hearing his mom say, "I've been there."

The success of Desperate Housewives and Lost came because viewers were anxious to have fun again after television became dominated by dark crime stories, ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said.

"It was murder of the week, it was horrible sex offender of the week," he told members of the Television Critics Association. "And that's a tough environment to be in. But these shows allowed people to laugh again and enjoy themselves. It made television fun again."

Fun again for ABC, too. The two hits, and the quiet success of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, have enabled the network to rebound from several bad years. ABC has jumped from fourth to second place this season among the youthful demographic it targets.

The network also has been in good position to rake in more advertising revenue, said Alex Wallau, network president, although he won't say how much. Desperate Housewives, a satire about the private lives of families in a suburban cul-de-sac, has quickly attracted the most upscale audience on TV, giving it additional value beyond its popularity, he said.

Men like Desperate Housewives because it's not just women sitting around a table talking about their feelings, Cherry said.

The attractive cast members don't hurt either, he said.

"Men love the serialized stuff as long as there is some action and some laughs," he said.

Lost, a drama about plane crash survivors on a South Pacific island, is appealing to viewers because "it's a microcosm of life," McPherson said. He said the show's creators have not even told him what the big mystery is about the island where the characters are stranded.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in which contractor Ty Pennington and a team build a new home for someone each week, has also built itself into a Sunday night hit and signals the positive sort of reality programming ABC wants to emphasize, McPherson said.

"We're just not going to do the mean-spirited stuff," he said. "We're really about wish-fulfillment, fantasy and romance."

Things aren't all flush for ABC: Most of its comedies have been dragging in the ratings. McPherson said the future of the Mel Gibson-produced comedy Complete Savages is up in the air, and he spoke of the coming-of-age drama Life as We Know It in the past tense.

McPherson, who began in his job last spring and benefited from series development overseen by others, also resisted the obvious temptation to brag about ratings.

"We have been through some tough times and we've done some good work," he said. "But we've got a lot of work to do. We are a hungry group."

Now that Desperate Housewives is a hit, Cherry joked about his mother wanting a piece of the action.

"She wants a piece of the back-end (profits), but that's not going to happen," Cherry said. "When the lawyers start calling, she goes into a home."

   26 January 2005 - A Walk Down Wisteria Lane!

Source : ETOnline

Spend a night with the stars as TERI HATCHER, NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN and their fellow gorgeous gals of the Golden Globe-winning show "Desperate Housewives," join their famous ABC cohorts from the network's hit sitcoms, dramas and reality shows to party down!

The other "Desperate Housewives" castmates EVA LONGORIA, MARCIA CROSS and FELICITY HUFFMAN also took part in inviting the stars of ABC onto the always-eventful Wisteria Lane -- where all of the "Desperate" infamous action takes place!

Famous faces joining in on the fun were the casts of the network's coolest dramas, including the hot stars of the fish-out-of-water smash hit "Lost," starring MATTHEW FOX and newcomer EVANGELINE LILLY, and DAVID E. KELLEY's freshman show and "The Practice" spinoff "Boston Legal," with Golden Globe winner WILLIAM SHATNER.

ABC's comedic geniuses also partied with their peers. The stars of the KELLY RIPA/FAITH FORD family show "Hope and Faith" were in attendance, as were the funny casts of "8 Simple Rules" with KATEY SAGAL, laffer "Less Than Perfect" with ANDY DICK, "George Lopez" and the new sitcom "Complete Savages."

   26 January 2005 - 'Desperate' moves pay off

Source : New York Daily News

LOS ANGELES - Six months ago, "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry sat before reporters and explained with equal parts of humor and horror that his new ABC series was inspired by his own mother. With "Housewives" established as the biggest hit of the fall TV season, Cherry met with reporters again - and talked about his mother.

"She wants a piece of the back end," Cherry joked at the Television Critics Association press tour, referring to Hollywood shorthand for after-the-fact financial reward. "And that's not going to happen.

"When the lawyers start calling, she goes into a home," he added. "Let's be clear on that."

But seriously, folks. "She just really wanted me to have a job and get a paycheck," Cherry said. "So the rest of it is gravy for her, and we just kind of get on the phone and laugh about it. So that's kind of what's going on with our relationship."

Cherry's relationship with ABC, meanwhile, couldn't be better.

ABC concluded its portion of the press tour Sunday night by throwing an all-star party on the open-air Wisteria Lane neighborhood set. It was a cleverly catered affair, with different styles of food provided in front of each housewife's home - an homage to the series pilot, in which each character was introduced, and partly defined, by the covered dish she brought to a post-funeral gathering.

The amount of laughter, in a one-hour format, is what Cherry suspects helped bring the program instant success.

"I think we wore out the traditional sitcoms," he said. "There were just too many domestic sitcoms done in the same tired format: the schlubby husband, the attractive wife, you know. We just kept doing it, and picking at that sore, and it didn't heal.

"I think that when our show came on, even though it was an hour long and it was being promoted like a soap opera, I think a lot of folks tuned in and were delighted to find out, 'Oh, I got to laugh every week at this. This show carries some laughs!' "

Cherry also credits ABC's aggressive promotion and canny scheduling - "They gave us the perfect time slot" - and his own title. When an executive suggested early on that "Desperate Housewives" be changed to "The Secret Lives of Housewives," Cherry threatened to quit.

Cherry swore that the mystery behind Mary Alice's death would be solved before the end of the season, but admitted that the frenetic pace of the show has chewed up what once was a multiyear plot outline.

"The sad surprise has been that the things I thought would take a whole season to reveal, I kind of revealed by episode six," Cherry said, citing as examples the murder of Mrs. Huber and the romantic attachment between Teri Hatcher's Susan and James Denton's Mike.

"When I started this, I really thought we were good until season three," Cherry said.

He also apologized for the unexpected furor over the Nicolette Sheridan towel-dropping promotion for "Monday Night Football," though he defended his original idea - using announcer John Madden, instead of Philadelphia Eagle receiver Terrell Owens.

"A woman as glorious-looking as Nicollette Sheridan throwing herself at John Madden," Cherry insisted, "is just funny."

"I didn't really realize 'Monday Night Football' was such a family viewing experience," he said.

The tempest shocked Sheridan, too.

"I found it quite stunning," she said Sunday. "That a pop-culture incident such as that, taking precedence over the major underlying problems of the world, was absolutely absurd."

   26 January 2005 - 'Housewives': Extra! Extra!

Source : New York Daily News

LOS ANGELES - ABC will likely squeeze out one extra episode of "Desperate Housewives" this season, says ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson. "They will probably do one extra episode to help us with the finale," McPherson told reporters yesterday.

He wouldn't comment on expected salary hikes for the cast of the top-rated new show of the season, but he doesn't expect problems a la NBC's "Friends."

"I'm very encouraged that what goes on will be tremendously amicable," he said. "The show is very valuable to us. (The cast) is very valuable to us."

He also said ABC will likely rerun "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" this summer. The broadcast networks increasingly are using the summer to launch new series and stem viewer defection to cable.

"I think people will enjoy catching up with (these shows)," said McPherson.

Last year CBS had a very successful summer with reruns of "CSI" while Fox struggled with new series.

With the incredible success of "Desperate Housewives" will come the inevitable clones. ABC is developing a drama called "Soccer Moms," which does sound suspiciously similar. But McPherson said it's a totally different show. "It's actually a detective show," he said adding that "Desperate Housewives" has spurred more than simply a copycat movement.

"'Desperate Housewives' really tapped into an audience that was not being serviced," said McPherson. "And that everybody could understand and relate to, whether you are a wife, or it's your guilty pleasure, or you're keeping a secret. But I think more than anything 'Desperate Housewives' allowed us to laugh again. I made television fun again."

McPherson also distanced himself from the one blemish on the "Desperate Housewives" reputation: the Monday Night Football towel-dropping spot.

"I didn't really like the thing creatively," said McPherson, adding that Nicollette Sheridan was originally supposed to jump into John Madden's arms.

But still, he said, the fallout surprised him: "I thought it was a whole lot of nothing and I really surprised with the attention it got."

In other ABC news, the demise of "life as we know it" is a forgone conclusion.

"'Life as we know it' was such a beautifully made show," said McPherson. "But it had a really tough time finding an audience. And we're not encouraged that we can make that work for us."

ABC is also going ahead with its 9/11 miniseries - cautiously.

"We feel it's an incredible responsibility, unlike just an event movie," said McPherson. "We're taking it really slow."

   26 January 2005 - 'Desperate' doings

Source : USA Today

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — There was extra laundry to sort through Sunday night on Wisteria Lane as the Desperate Housewives hosted ABC's other talent at a star-studded meet-and-greet block party.

"We used to have a Labor Day block party every year," Marcia Cross (Housewives' Bree) recalled of her years growing up on a similar suburban street in Massachusetts. "All the neighbors still live there, so I can't talk about any of their secrets, but I once got into a fistfight with my friend Susan. That was bad."

Stars from Lost and NYPD Blue joined actors from ABC's new slate of spring shows to sample buffets that paid tribute to each of the housewives. There was a table of spicy Mexican food in front of Gabrielle's house. Laughing it up with fellow Latin star George Lopez, Eva Longoria (Gabrielle) joked that ABC did not make her prepare all the food herself: "Being Mexican, you would have thought they'd put me in the kitchen, but no."

Kiddie fare like hot dogs and macaroni and cheese was available in front of Lynette's house, while mashed potatoes were served in miniature measuring cups in a nod to Teri Hatcher's Susan, who memorably lost hers in Edie's house fire. (Hatcher stayed home to nurse a bad cold.)

As for Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt, all the bars were dedicated to her, inspiring Sheridan to say: "Enjoy the booze and loosen up!" (Related story: Madden passes on Sheridan's pass)

ABC airs its Happy Days reunion Feb. 3. And it could be because of Housewives' huge success that CBS has hired former Fonzie Henry Winkler (who produced last year's Dallas reunion) to reassemble the cast of TV's original naughty cul-de-sac denizens for a Knots Landing get-together.

"I've already spoken with Ted Shackelford and Donna Mills," said Winkler, who will soon call John Travolta about a Welcome Back, Kotter special ABC wants Winkler to produce.

NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco had hoped to reunite Dennis Franz with his MIA television wife, Charlotte Ross, for the show's finale March 1, which films in two weeks, but Ross turned Bochco down. "We would have spent some time with her and Andy (Sipowicz, Franz's character) talking about the changes he was facing in his life," Bochco said. "But she wouldn't do it."

Bochco gave the whole cast Rolex watches for the show's 200th episode and was dismayed to learn that former cast member Esai Morales already lost his. "I'm not surprised," Bochco sighed. "The things you truly value, you hang on to."

The sexy women of Lost posed for Vogue earlier in the day, but co-star Ian Somerhalder said he's bummed that there are no available women to date in the cast now that Evangeline Lilly has taken up with Dominic Monaghan.

"Everybody got a whiff of that at the Golden Globes," said Somerhalder, who knew about the coupling before the rest of us. "But I can't get any love. Maggie Grace (Shannon) plays my sister. Emilie de Ravin (Claire) is engaged. Yunjin Kim (Sun) has a boyfriend. That leaves Evie (Lilly), and, well, you know about that."

Relating to Somerhalder's dating woes was John Stamos, who stars in ABC's spring dating comedy, Jake in Progress. Split from wife Rebecca Romijn, Stamos imagined what his dating classified ad might say:

WANTED: Must have "sense of humor, heart, sense of family and money ... Nah, I'm kidding about the money," Stamos said.

In the meantime, the actor has been enjoying dating women outside the biz.

"I've been very open to normal, real girls," he said. "I dated a waitress (they met at a restaurant) and a nurse (they met at a hospital) for a little while. I love fresh, unjaded attitudes, and I think that's probably where I'll end up."


Source : Contact Music

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star EVA LONGORIA has urged men to experiment with their partners' submissive sides - by tying them up during sex.

The 29-year-old actress, who plays raunchy GABRIELLE SOLLS in the hit US TV show, adores being restrained by her sexual partners, who include 'N SYNC heart-throb, JC CHASEZ.

She explains, "I love being tied up with silk scarves. There's something very sexy about being submissive because your guard is down. You have to totally surrender to something like that.

"I wish men knew how women wanted to be touched. I've schooled all the boyfriends I've ever had. They have to try these things."


Source : Contact Music

The stars of hit American sitcom DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES have reportedly threatened a revolt over their small salaries.

MARCIA CROSS, TERI HATCHER, FELICITY HUFFMAN, EVA LONGORIA and NICOLETTE SHERIDAN are all demanding bigger paycheques to cash in on the worldwide success of the ABC series that won two GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS last week (begs17JAN05), reports Britain's DAILY STAR SUNDAY newspaper.

More than 40 countries have snapped up the dark comedy and it is currently number one in the US ratings, regularly pulling in more than 30 million viewers.

An insider at TOUCHSTONE TELEVISION says, "The girls are fuming. Their salaries range from $47,000 (GBP25,000) to $76,000 (GBP40,000) an episode - which is peanuts compared to the cash coming in from selling it around the world.

"It's crazy when you compare it with the $1.8 million (GBP1 million)-a-show the stars of FRIENDS were making.

"No one's suggesting they're worth that much. But they do deserve a slice of the big bucks they're generating."

In an interview with America's PEOPLE magazine last month (DEC04), Sheridan complained, "I'm the poorest actress on television. I heard (the cast of) Friends got cars when they had such amazing ratings. But I got flowers. I'm still waiting for the PORSCHE."

   23 January 2005 - Housewives top battle

Source : News.com

A SELF-DESCRIBED "has-been" actor is the key to reviving Channel 7's ailing fortunes in the battle for ratings against Nine and Ten this year.

The actor is former Lois And Clark star Teri Hatcher, and the show is the dark, funny soap opera Desperate Housewives - the most popular new series in America last year. When Hatcher, who took a seven-year break to raise her daughter, won a Golden Globe last Monday for Desperate Housewives, she thanked US network ABC for giving her "a second chance at a career when I couldn't have been a bigger has-been".

It's a Lazarus-like performance that Seven hopes to emulate this year after two years of internal upheaval, while battling to retain viewers with lacklustre shows.

"Desperate Housewives is rapidly becoming a worldwide phenomenon," Seven director of programming Tim Worner crows.

The acclaimed series, which also stars Nicolette Sheridan and Marcia Cross, is just one of several virtually guaranteed ratings successes for Seven.

The network will also launch Lost, a plane-crash survival saga that proved to be the surprise water-cooler hit of the year in the US.

This week, viewers will see Ian "Dicko" Dickson's debut as host of the reality series My Restaurant Rules and Johanna Griggs' debut as host of Better Homes and Gardens, while All Saints and Dancing With The Stars return next week.

Channel 9 has delayed bringing out its big guns until the following week - a new karaoke-style talent show, Starstruck, which debuts on January 31, and the popular police and medical dramas Cold Case and ER.

"Even today, I'm still massaging the first couple of weeks of ratings," Nine director of programming Michael Healy admits.

"We have a great, original line-up of programs, but at the core of it is our feel-good entertainment."

Nine's shows include the reality series Celebrity Overhaul, CSI: New York and Joey, which stars Friends' Matt LeBlanc and was the highest-rating new sitcom in the US last year.

Channel 10, which was credited with the best performance of all the networks last year, is again in a strong position in the ratings war.

"Everything that worked for us last year has come back," Ten director of programming David Mott says.

"We haven't lost any of the shows that performed well.

"For people who thought the whole Idol thing was over, American Idol had 34 million viewers for its premiere last week."

On top of proven franchises like Big Brother and Australian Idol, Ten has high hopes for The X Factor, hosted by former The Bill star Daniel Macpherson.

The X Factor is similar to Idol, but open to all ages and groups of singers. It has scope for development of the judges, who include Kate Ceberano and Mark Holden.

Ten also has a new Law And Order series; a local version of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy; and Medium, a hit US psychic crime series that stars big-screen actor Patricia Arquette.

"Everybody has really good shows this year. It's war at the moment," Mott says.

   22 January 2005 - Longoria Gives Outfit for Tsunami Auction

Source : Newsday.com

NEW YORK -- Celebrities including actress Eva Longoria and singer Avril Lavigne will auction off personal items on eBay to raise money for survivors of the Asia tsunami.

Beginning Feb. 7, 40 items will hit the Web site, including "Desperate Housewives" co-star Longoria's cheerleading uniform, and a signed skateboard from rocker Lavigne.

The drive, with proceeds going to Save the Children's Asia Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund, is sponsored by Us Weekly magazine.

"It is inspiring to see how many celebrities are joining with Us Weekly to raise money for such an important cause," said Janice Min, the magazine's editor-in-chief, in a statement Friday.

Also up for bid will be designer handbags signed by Paris and Nicky Hilton, a guitar autographed by Maroon 5 and a designer dress from "Bachelorette" Jen Schefft.

The eBay auction will end Feb. 24.

   21 January 2005 - The View ladies getting 'desperate'

Source : Canada.com

NEW YORK (AP) -- The ladies at The View are getting desperate.

During the week of Feb. 7, the five stars of Desperate Housewives will co-host ABC's The View while the daytime talk show broadcasts from Los Angeles. Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross will each join the show for a day. The Wisteria Lane residents will be filling in for The View moderator Meredith Vieira, who will not be making the trip from New York due to family obligations.

Broadcasting live from the El Capitan Theatre, the week is a themed series called The View Celebrates Los Angeles.

On Sunday, Hatcher won a Golden Globe Award for best actress in a TV comedy or musical. The ABC show also won for best comedy or musical TV series.

The other hosts of The View are Barbara Walters, Star Jones Reynolds, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The show airs weekdays on ABC.

   21 January 2005 - 'Desperate' for Secrets

Source : Extra TV

The "Desperate Housewives" nabbed the Golden Globe for top Comedy TV Show on Sunday night -- but the awards show certainly didn't stop 24 million viewers from tuning in to ABC's smash hit. Now "Extra" has some steamy scenes from next week's must-see episode.

Just when you thought it might be over (or not), Gabrielle and John the gardener's dangerous liaison gets hotter than ever. In TV Guide's cover story, Bruce Fretts has the scoop, and he's sharing with "Extra."

"In the next episode John turns 18," Fretts revealed. "It is no longer a crime to be having their affair so he makes a very serious play for Gabrielle."

So will the yard boy really pop the question? "If he does propose, I don't think she'll accept," Fretts speculated. "I think she realizes this would be a huge blow to her lifestyle."

And will gorgeous Gabrielle get pregnant this season? Just last Sunday, her husband, Carlos, who is desperate to be a daddy, called the pharmacist for birth control pills -- and then replaced them with placebos!

"She's so selfish and for her to have to think about taking care of someone else for a change would be a great twist," Fretts told us. "I wouldn't be surprised if by May sweeps she's got a bun in the oven."

But if she does get pregnant, whose baby would it be -- her husband's or her lover's? "I don't know whose baby it would be," Fretts admitted. "I'm not sure she would know whose baby it would be."

One thing is for sure -- America is obsessed with the scandalous storylines. Tune in on Sunday for all the desperately delicious details! And don't miss Thursday's "Extra," for even more "Desperate Housewives" secrets.


Source : The National Enquirer

But he refuses to ask his son for help

"DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" star Jesse Metcalfe has a tragic family secret: His father is addicted to crack cocaine, broke, has lost an eye in a brawl and been evicted from his apartment.

But Jeffrey Metcalfe refuses to ask for help from his son, who plays hunky gardener John on the hit show.

"Jeffrey is going to die soon because of the things that he is doing," declared Robert deRedon, his longtime friend and former landlord in New London, Conn.

"I used to beg him to get in touch with his son. But Jeffrey has refused. He said they didn't get along."


When contacted by The ENQUIRER, Jeffrey said: "I love Jesse and I am very proud of what he has managed to do. But we haven't spoken for many years.

"He doesn't need to know what has happened. He needs to get on with his own life. It's not in his best interests to get involved."

Jeffrey's sister Pam La Ware and her husband Jim have let Jeffrey stay in their home in nearby Waterford since he was evicted.

"He doesn't want to do anything that would hurt Jesse," Pam told The ENQUIRER. "He doesn't feel it would be appropriate to hurt him in any way."

Jeffrey hasn't seen his son since he split with his mother Nancy -- whom he never married -- when Jesse was 5. And his life really went down the tubes after he was fired from his job as a longshoreman, a friend told The ENQUIRER.

"He was smoking crack cocaine. They did a random drug test that came up positive for cocaine use.

"Jeffrey was given the option of going to rehab or losing his job. He did start a recovery program, but he dropped out."


Jeffrey's former landlord deRedon disclosed: "Jeffrey never got his job back, and because he wasn't working, he couldn't pay his rent.

"On October 23, Jeffrey let some so-called friends into his apartment and there was a violent robbery. I heard yelling and screaming and chairs flying -- and then I heard a blood-curdling yell from Jeffrey.

"I called 911, but before the police and ambulance got there, two guys and a woman ran out of Jeffrey's front door. I looked in -- and Jeffrey was standing there with his eyeball dangling from his face. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital, but doctors couldn't save his eye.

"While Jeffrey was still in the hospital, I went to his apartment to clean up. There was dried blood all over the place, and empty packets of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

"There was so much rubbish in the bedroom that he slept on the couch instead.

"Jeffrey now has a false eye and is trying to get help from the state, claiming he was a victim of a crime."

The landlord served an eviction notice on Jeffrey in mid-November, which mentioned the drugs and drug paraphernalia and read in part: "I ask no drugs, prostitutes. But Jeff has people in and out all during the nite."


When told about Jeffrey's sad situation by The ENQUIRER, Jesse's spokesperson said the "Desperate Housewives" star had no comment.

Jeffrey's friend added: "Jeffrey watches Jesse, 26, on television. He's very proud of him. But he doesn't want to call Jesse because he doesn't want him to know what a loser his father is.

"Sometimes Jeffrey wishes he had been a bigger part of Jesse's life growing up -- but there's nothing he can do about that now."

   20 January 2005 - A 'Desperate' Dad Comes To Town

Source : Access Hollywood

It's been quite a week for the "Desperate Housewives."

After making their formidable presence felt at the Golden Globes, the women of Wisteria are back at it again this Sunday -- and they are about to bring out the big guns.

"Has Ryan O'Neal shot his stuff?" Access Hollywood's Billy Bush asked Felicity Huffman when he caught up with on the red carpet of the Globes.

"Yes, he has. He's fantastic and charming and handsome," Felicity beamed.

Indeed, Ryan is joining the cast, putting a philandering twist on Sunday's episode as Lynette's (Huffman) straying father-in-law, subsequently being kicked to the curb, leaving Lynette's husband less than shocked.

"They have worked out some sort of agreement and they have some idea of an open marriage," Felicity's on-screen hubby Doug Savant told us of his TV tie to Huffman.

And for those of you who've noticed the gardener-free airwaves as of late, ladies rejoice, everyone's favorite lawn boy Jesse Metcalfe is back, wearing his heart on his sleeve as he makes a pleads with the lovely Eva Longoria.

"For the longest time, all I had to offer you was my heart," Jesse's character pleads with Gabrielle (Longoria). "Now my business is taking off and I can take care of you. We can finally be together."

Will Eva take the bait (and the younger man)? Find out when "Desperate Housewives" airs 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

   19 January 2005 - TERI'S NOT DESPERATE ANY MORE

Source : Daily Record

IT was the story of the comeback kids at the Golden Globe Awards as rejuvenated TV star Teri Hatcher stole the limelight from the biggest actresses in Hollywood.

The Desperate Housewives star walked off with the Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) award at the first major ceremony of the awards season and won the hearts of the audience with her stunning comeback - and equally stunning glam look.

The former Superman star was on the verge of tears as she accepted the statuette. She said: 'I've never been nominated for anything in my life.' And she thanked ABC for 'giving me a second chance at a career when I couldn't have been a bigger has-been'.

And Hatcher - who hadn't enjoyed a hit in eight years - was just one of a succession of beauties who brought some old-fashioned style to the prestigious awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

She was joined by Charlize Theron, Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman in putting on the glitz - but Hatcher's metallic shimmer halter-neck stole the show.

Former Lovejoy actor Ian McShane also hit the comeback trail as he won the Best TV Drama gong for Deadwood, but it was the movie awards which provided the biggest drama.

The Golden Globes are the traditional signpost for potential Oscar winners, but experts believe the Oscar race to have been blown wide open by Sunday's honours ceremony in Beverly Hills.

Jamie Foxx (Ray) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator) picked up the Best Actor awards for Comedy/Musical and Drama respectively and are now the front-runner rivals for the Oscars, which will be handed out next month.

Previous Oscar-winner Hilary Swank is hot favourite for Best Actress after taking the drama award for her part as a boxer in Clint Eastwood's hit Million Dollar Baby, with Annette Bening collecting a Comedy/Musical honour for Being Julia.

Best Drama Film was Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, while hotly-tipped adultery drama Closer was a winner for supporting actors Clive Owen and Natalie Portman. Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart got the Best Original Song award for Old Habits Die Hard from Alfie.

Actor Robin Williams collected the Cecil B. DeMille award for outstanding entertainer and got the biggest laugh when he thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press, who run the awards.

He joked: 'I'd also want to thank you for having Prince, William Shatner, Puff Daddy and Mick Jagger on the same stage. That is a sign of the apocalypse.'

   19 January 2005 - `Desperate Housewives' big in U.K.

Source : The Mercury News

LONDON - Say what you will about growing anti-Americanism around the globe, but international audiences are still nuts about U.S. TV.

The latest evidence is the popularity of ``Desperate Housewives,'' the ABC hit that attracted 4.6 million viewers, a 24 percent audience share, when it premiered in Britain this month.

Only the launch of ``ER'' in 1995 fared better, with 5 million viewers.

Now, a mere two shows into the season, the Times said that ``Desperate Housewives'' is ``well on its way to becoming essential viewing.''

The show has been sold to more than 70 countries, so its fan base is only expected to grow.

With few exceptions, the British media have heaped unabashed praise on the racy suburban drama about the lives of five women -- one played by British actress Nicollette Sheridan -- living along Wisteria Lane.

``The women are glamorous. The story is intriguing and the mood is edgy,'' wrote the Evening Standard. ``But most of all the scripts are deft and witty.''

Other papers called it ``the first must-see TV show of 2005,'' adding that it fills the vacuum left by the end of the much-watched ``Sex and the City.''

Perhaps the Daily Star put it best when it said that: ``Those `Desperate Housewives' are taking Britain by storm.''

Indeed, billboards advertising the show line the roads leading into central London, and newspapers have published quizzes so that British women can determine whether they, too, might be desperate housewives.

The show has led British columnists to ponder why what they see as the sharpest and funniest nation on Earth -- Britain -- can't give the Yanks a run for their money when it comes to producing good TV programs.

Some have even suggested that the show's creators copied the Spice Girls -- Britain's all-female quintet from the 1990s -- with a set of characters who are posh, sleazy, sporty, ethnic and red-headed.

But John Noble, director of the British Brands Group, said he sees no end in sight to the popularity of U.S. TV shows.

``I've never heard of anyone saying they wouldn't watch a show because it's American,'' he said. ``I just don't detect that kind of a feeling at all.''

Rather, Noble said, American shows continue to attract fans in Britain because they are well-written and contrast nicely with British programming.

``The `EastEnders' and `Coronation Streets' of the world tend to be darker and more about real life and often also show a lot of angst,'' he said, referring to two popular British soap operas.

Noble said that when Britons watch American TV, they're not thinking that the situations portrayed could only happen in the United States.

``We don't watch them with detachment, but with a shared sense of the human condition and even with a shared sense of humor,'' he said.

``Desperate Housewives'' isn't the only American show popular here. So are ``CSI,'' ``Alias'' and ``Without a Trace.''

Before its end, ``Friends'' was so popular that countless Britons bought seasons of episodes on videotape.

And ``The Simpsons'' has enjoyed a major cult following here, with the show named ``Best International Comedy Show'' at the British Comedy Awards last month.

British TV viewers even voted Homer Simpson's ``Doh!'' as one of the best comedy catch phrases of all time in a study this month for entertainment channel UKTV Gold.

   18 January 2005 - CBS, ABC Beat Golden NBC on Sunday

Source : Zap2It

Most of Hollywood may have been using the Golden Globes as an excuse to party the night away, but viewers at home were more interested in what was happening with football on CBS and ABC's regular Sunday night lineup.

CBS won the night among households with an 11.9 rating/8 share, while ABC came in second with a 10.3/15. NBC was third with a 10.0/15, followed by FOX, 3.6/5, and The WB, 1.8/3.

Things were slightly different among 18 to 49-year-olds. ABC was tops in the demo with a 7.5, while CBS was second with a 6.0 to NBC's 4.8. FOX came in fourth with a 2.8 and The WB lagged with a 1.0. CBS set the bar at 7 p.m. with the conclusion of the NFL game giving the eye a substantial lead. ABC threw an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" into the ring, 6.7/11, which was enough to beat NBC's Golden Globe preshow, 6.1/10. "King of the Hill" and "Malcolm in the Middle" averaged a 3.1/5 for FOX, and The WB reaired Part 1 of the "Summerland" pilot for a 1.2/2.

ABC took over at 8 p.m. with a second episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," 11.4/17. The first hour of the Globes took NBC to second place, while "60 Minutes" gave CBS third, 10.5/15. "The Simpsons," 4.9/7, and "Arrested Development," 3.4/5, gave FOX its best hour of the night, while "Charmed," 2.3/3, did the same for The WB.

"Desperate Housewives" proved strong as ever at 9 p.m., 14.4/21, as the Golden Globes mustered a 10.3/15 for the hour. CBS was on the "Cold Case," 9.7/14, and FOX finished its night with a double dose of "Family Guy" averaging a 3.5/5. The WB also concluded its programming during this hour with "Steve Harvey's Big Time," 1.9/3.

NBC had its best hour of the night at 10 p.m., with the conclusion of the Golden Globes, 12.8/20. ABC was second with "Boston Legal," 8.8/14, and CBS brought up the rear with "CSI: NY," 8.0/13.

   15 January 2005 - 'Desperate Housewives' in feud

Source : Digital Spy

Desperate Housewives stars Nicolette Sheridan (Edie Britt) and Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer) aren't getting along, The Mirror reports today.

The actresses have apparently been getting competitive over their roles, and their salaries.

An insider told the newspaper, "Nicolette started bad-mouthing Teri, telling people that she is too skinny and not attractive, and that she should have landed the lead instead. Teri just thinks Nicolette is way too abrasive."

The source added, "Nicolette thinks she's a bigger name than Teri and is angry that she didn't get her part. Within a week of filming beginning she was moaning to producers."

Nicolette is also said to be angry over her salary, compared to Teri's $30,000-per-episode contract.

She recently complained, "I'm the poorest actress on television."

The stars have denied the alleged rift. Teri insisted, "We get along great - there's no competitiveness."

   15 January 2005 - Wives or sluts? US viewers in love-hate match with TV hit

Source : Guardian Unlimited

Moral right campaign backfires as show vies for clutch of Golden Globes

The loves, lives and snipes of the ladies of Wisteria Lane have become the surprise hit of the television season. In the US, where the series debuted in October, Desperate Housewives is top of the ratings: it has notched up 24.6 million viewers for a single episode. Tomorrow it vies for a clutch of Golden Globe awards, pushing aside perennial favourites such as Sex and the City and Friends. The fact that the bulk of the programme's nominations pit its stars against each other is seen merely as testament to the cultural impact the programme has had.

But not everybody is a fan. Take L Brent Bozell III, the founder and guiding light behind the Parents' Television Council, an offshoot of his Media Research Centre. "Desperate Housewives," he writes on the group's website, "really should have an even more obvious title, like Cynical Suburban Sluts."

So infuriated is he by what he sees as the moral turpitude spread by the programme that he urges his supporters to boycott the advertisers who, he argues, enable the programme to be made.

"This show's writers might think they're not moralisers, but they are," he writes. "The moral of this story is: life's too short and love's too fake to behave with honour. The advertisers that fund this ought to be known by what they make possible. Colour your hair with L'Oréal, buy yourself a Pontiac, so you can cheat on your husband with a teenage boy in it. The advertisers approve."

But Mr Bozell doesn't just talk the talk, he gets the letters and emails sent.

His PTC website contains an email form letter that can be filled out in seconds with the name of a programme and a description of the offence caused. By clicking a submit button the email is sent to the PTC, which then forwards it to the FCC - the Federal Communications Commission, the government-funded regulatory body headed by Michael Powell, son of the secretary of state, Colin Powell.

The simple technique has had quite an impact. When Mr Powell appeared before Congress in February last year in the wake of Janet Jackson's nipple-baring "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl, he revealed that indecency complaints to the FCC had risen from 350 in 2001 to 14,000 in 2002, and 240,000 in 2003. The total for last year finally reached more than 1m, although the Super Bowl furore accounted for 540,000 of the complaints registered.

There was, Mr Powell told Congress, "a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes".

What Mr Powell omitted to mention, in all likelihood because he was unaware of it, was that the PTC was responsible for 99.8% of the complaints registered with the FCC in 2003, and an even higher proportion of the complaints received last year. The PTC, in Mr Bozell's words, had delivered on a promise to conduct a "massive, coordinated and determined campaign" against broadcast indecency.

"It means that really a tiny minority with a very focused political agenda is trying to censor American television and radio," Jonathan Rintels, the president of the Centre for Creative Voices in Media, told Mediaweek magazine, which first reported the findings.

The PTC is not alone. Other Christian-right advocacy groups, emboldened by an election fought and, some say, won on their home turf of "moral values", furiously lobby both broadcast regulators in the US and advertisers.

One, the American Decency Association, a Christian ministry based in Michigan, also took up the fight against Desperate Housewives. The ADA's strategy was to target advertisers on the programme, urging its supporters to write to the advertisers to question their support for Desperate Housewives and to promise to boycott their products.

In late November the strategy won results. "I wanted to inform you that Yum! Brands will not be advertising in Desperate Housewives going forward," wrote Jonathan Blum, a senior vice-president of Yum! Brands, the entity behind Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.

Bill Johnson, the president of the ADA, said: "We rejoice that Yum! Brands realises the import of this decision. Desperate Housewives is nasty and destructive to the American family... We now can only hope that Yum! Brands will also steer clear of ... similar types of cultural-rotting programming."

Unfortunately for the ADA, by late November the programme had become so successful that it had no difficulty replacing the lost advertisers. In fact, the ensuing brouhaha was probably just the sort of publicity the programme desired.

Just as Yum! was pulling its advertising, Desperate Housewives pulled off an attention-grabbing stunt when Nicolette Sheridan, one of the programme's stars, popped up wearing just a towel in front of an American football star in his team's locker room. In the promotional spot, she drops her towel, revealing her naked back, and the two fall into each other's arms.

The ensuing controversy guaranteed all involved endless coverage, with the channel apologising for the inadvertent offence and the inappropriate nature of the skit. But the impact, both positive and negative, had already been made.

In mid-December ABC, the Disney-owned network behind Desperate House wives, announced that it was increasing the cost of advertising on the programme from $155,000 (£86,000) for a 30-second spot to $300,000-$400,000.

The advertising reality reflects a common contradiction in American public morals: while many in conservative states profess to be concerned about a decline in moral standards, particularly in the media, they are happy to watch Desperate Housewives or to purchase pornography over the internet.

But while the commercial reality runs its course, the moral guardians continue to make their arguments, confident that they have a sympathetic ear in the White House.

With the FCC able to impose draconian fines of up to $550,000 after last year's Super Bowl exposure, broadcasters are fighting shy of conflict or of even the merest hint of indecency.

A video of a California man being rescued from a flooded river this week took on a surreal quality when his bare torso was pixilated should it cause offence. And this year the Super Bowl has taken a firm stand against indecency: an advertisement for a cough remedy that features a glimpse of the bare bottom of the veteran entertainer Mickey Rooney has been dropped from the planned schedule by the broadcaster, Fox.


Source : New York Post

NAKED blond ambition quashed Pam Anderson's chance to star on "Desperate Houswives," the former "Baywatch" babe says.

Anderson says she was offered the role of Susan Mayer — the accident-prone mom played to the hilt by Teri Hatcher — but producers wanted Pam to dye her blond hair brown for the part.

"Blond is my trademark, so I said no," the 37-year-old former Playboy pinup told a reporter.

"Now I could kick myself as the show is simply great. I am hoping to persuade them to give me a guest-star role."

Hatcher has been nominated for a Golden Globe (as Best Actress) for her work on the show — which is ABC's biggest hit in years.

   12 January 2005 - "Move On" Ratings

Source : Zap2It

With an extra assist from Sunday NFL runover, FOX's new season of "24" got off to a solid start, helping the network claim a slim early ratings victory. However, due to the nature of live events, FOX's ratings are likely to change and ABC is looming in the wings.

Overall, FOX averaged a 10.8 rating/16 share for the night, narrowly beating ABC's 10.3/16. CBS was well back in third with a 7.9/12, still nipping NBC's 7.1/11. The WB may only have gotten a 1.8/3 for the night, but at least the network didn't have to air a new episode of "The Mountain."

FOX also won among adults 18-49, doing a 7.4 rating in the key demographic. ABC was behind, delivering a 7.2 rating for the night. NBC and CBS tied for third with the same 3.3 rating. The WB trailed with a 1.2 rating. With Sunday sports coverage, FOX started the night in first with a 14.9/23. CBS' "60 Minutes" could muster only a 7.8/12 in second. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" wasn't really close in third, edging the 5.5/9 for "Dateline NBC." The WB was fifth with "Steve Harvey's Big Time" and the beginning of the movie "There's Something About Mary."

ABC moved into first for the 8 p.m. hour with the 11.2/16 for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." CBS' "Cold Case" was second with a 10.2/15. FOX got a 9.0/13 from the first hour of the two-night "24" premiere, while NBC was a distant fourth with "American Dreams." The WB's movie was fifth with a 2.0/3.

At 9 p.m., "Desperate Housewives" had the evening's highest ratings with a 15.1/22 for ABC. NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" did an 8.6/12 to edge the 8.4/12 for hour two of FOX's "24," though the FOX drama pulled in more viewers. CBS' telecast of the People's Choice Awards did a 6.9/10. The WB was last again with the conclusion of its movie.

NBC won the night's final hour with the 9.8/16 for "Crossing Jordan." ABC wasn't far off as "Boston Legal" was at a 9.4/15. CBS' awards show followed in third.

   10 January 2005 - Meet The New Man On Wisteria Lane

Source : Access Hollywood

There's a new face on Wisteria Lane and ladies get ready – it's a new man.

Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson spoke to the newest "Desperate Housewives" cast member and found out this pharmacist has even more secrets in store for the women of Wisteria.

"You've got to feel like the luckiest guy in the world," Shaun told new castmember Roger Bart.

"Yeah, I sure do. The first day I got the job, I had sent a text message to a good buddy of mine, Matthew Broderick, and the first thing he wrote back was, 'Time to go to the gym,'" Bart laughed.

And in true "Desperate" form, it looks like this new character will also bring a new scandal to the show, as it appears another affair could be brewing on Wisteria Lane, this time with "Housewife" Marcia Cross.

"So is there anything intimate or sneaky?" Shaun asked.

"Let's just say I have strong feelings for her," Bart revealed.

In fact, Access was able to uncover some images from future episodes that show the pill-pushing pharmacist kissing a gun toting Bree.

But Bart isn't the only new face showing up in the neighborhood this Sunday night, as the late Mrs. Huber's sister arrives in town "desperate" to find out who killed her nosey sibling.

   10 January 2005 - Stud tells it to a judge

Source : New York Daily News

Judge Marilyn Milian has the right stuff as far as 'Desperate Housewives' hunk James Denton is concerned.

Does "Desperate Housewives" hunk James Denton need to pay a private visit to the chambers of "The People's Court" Judge Marilyn Milian?

Sparks flew yesterday when Lowdown shared with the 43-year-old Milian some revealing testimony from the 42-year-old Denton, who raises heart rates as a sexy plumber on the hit ABC show.

Asked by Elle magazine to name his guilty fantasy, Denton answered: "That judge from 'The People's Court,' Marilyn Milian. I spotted her once when I was bored in my trailer. I sat there watching her and thought, 'Wow, she does it for me.'"

An aroused Milian told Lowdown: "I feel like I just had a bottle of Champagne! I've seen him and the man is a stud."

Her Honor added: "I'm gonna watch him a hell of a lot more now, I can tell you that. I'm going to reread his quote as an aphrodisiac! We've got to create some real-life controversy between these actors so we can get them on my show."

Alas, cold reality suddenly intruded.

"I have three little kids and I am more married by the minute," Milian admitted. "I am not a desperate housewife. But if I were, he would be my first phone call."

By the way, it might interest the judge to know that Denton has quite a rap sheet.

"Before I met my wife," he confided to Elle, "I checked off the list: sex in the back of a pickup truck; the Mile High Club; and sex with a girl in my lap while driving on the highway."

   10 January 2005 - Tony-Winning Millie Star Joins ABC's "Desperate Housewives"

Source : Playbill

Harriet Sansom Harris, who won a Tony Award for her performance as the evil Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie, has joined the cast of the hit new television series "Desperate Housewives."

The actress, who recently starred in the Los Angeles Theatre Works presentation of Ken Ludwig'sTwentieth Century adaptation, will play the impossible sister of the late Mrs. Huber. Harris' recurring role begins Jan. 9. That broadcast also marks the debut of another Tony winner, Roger Bart. The former Producers star plays George Williams, a possible love interest for Bree (Marcia Cross).

"Desperate Housewives" — set on the ever-busy and mysterious Wisteria Lane — airs Sunday nights on ABC-TV, 9-10 PM ET; check local listings.

Harriet Harris received Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performance as Mrs. Meers in the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. She has also been seen on the New York stage in The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Crucible, Man and Superman, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Jeffrey and Bella, Belle of Byelorussia. Harris received Drama Desk nominations for her work in Jeffrey and Bella and has appeared on screen in "It's All Relative," "Memento," "Nurse Betty," "Romeo and Juliet," "Quiz Show," "Six Feet Under," "Frasier" and "The Beast.

Roger Bart was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in The Producers; he won his Tony for his role as Snoopy in the Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Bart's other Broadway credits include The Frogs, Triumph of Love, King David and Big River. On screen the actor has been seen in "The Stepford Wives," "Bram and Alice" and "The Insider." He has also lent his voice to the animated films "Hercules" and "Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure."

"Desperate Housewives," the breakaway hit of the TV season, takes a "darkly comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren't always what they seem." The hour-long dramedy features Marcia Cross, James Denton, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Andrea Bowen, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Steven Culp, Jesse Metcalfe, Mark Moses, Brenda Strong and Cody Kasch.

   9 January 2005 - Beauty the Wisteria Way

Source : Extra TV

Ever looked around your neighborhood and wondered why the ladies don't look like those on Wisteria Lane? Well, "Extra's" got the exclusive sneak peek at how the "Desperate Housewives" stay so sexy. And despite their short shorts, tight tops, smooth skin and sparkling smiles, Nicolette Sheridan says they don't get sexy by starving themselves. "We love to eat," she insisted.

Us Weekly is diving into the "Housewives'" world in this week's issue, uncovering the secrets to how they stay so gorgeous. "They each have a very specific, tailored beauty regimen that works for each one of them," US Weekly's Katrina Zish told us.

Eva Longoria is the youngest housewife, but she still works hard to keep her hard body. Her beauty basics include cardio, yoga, boxing three times a week and eating six small meals a day. And Eva told our Jon Kelley she's much different than Gabrielle in real life, revealing, "I hate to wear makeup unless it's an event, and then I like to get dressed up in the gowns and stuff."

Meanwhile, Teri Hatcher takes Striptease classes at Sheila Kelley's S Factor in Los Angeles, and she even recently gave Jay Leno a demonstration. And there's no doubt, at 40, Hatcher knows that less makeup is more. She also often dresses down, sporting tanks, tees, and jeans.

Nicolette's secret to toning her killer bod includes lots of skiing. She loves Jessica Simpson's Desserts Beauty Line, and according to Zish, as far as fashion, anything goes: "[Nicolette] loves anything with a neckline down as far as it can go and a hemline up as far as it can go."

Five-foot-ten-inch Marcia Cross keeps her statuesque figure with a rigorous walking and yoga routine, and she uses ultra-expensive Crème de la Mer on her porcelain skin.

But it's Felicity Huffman with whom most real housewives identify. She keeps it clean and easy, usually wearing casual clothes and not a lot of makeup.

Even with different routines and different ages, there's no doubt that all otf these "Desperate Housewives" are knockouts.

   7 January 2005 - 'Desperate Housewives' is huge hit for C4

Source : Digital Spy

Almost 5 million viewers tuned in for the first episode of Desperate Housewives last night, according to overnight ratings figures.

The comedy drama import, seen by over 20 million in the US, averaged 4.6 million viewers and a 24% audience share in the 10pm hour. The peak audience was 4.8 million (29%).

Although the audience fails to top ER's debut in 1995, which had 5 million, Desperate Housewives is Channel 4's highest-rated US premiere ever in terms of share.

Almost half a million turned to E4 immediately afterwards to watch episode two, giving the digital channel an impressive 6.3% multichannel share.

None of the figures take into account viewers who may have recorded the programme.

"We are delighted to start the year on such a high note following Channel 4’s excellent performance last year," said a C4 spokeswoman today. "Desperate Housewives has also been warmly received by critics and audiences alike and confirms our reputation for continuing to bring the best of US drama and comedy to UK audiences."

The channel has already secured the rights for the second series.

   6 January 2005 - A new tease for desparate housewives

Source : New York Daily News

Desperate housewives are doing it in public. A few of them, anyway, because it is still a very private thing. A shocking thing. Perhaps the final taboo. They are (please cover the next two words if you are under 18 or think Farrah Fawcett is a brand of sink) wearing curlers.


That's right. Liberated as any Afghan babe blowing off her burka, a small cadre of cuties has begun sashaying in flagrante decurlo through the halls, the malls and even - I've heard - onto airplanes. My friend Nancy Deihl just spotted two rollered women in Manhattan "and they weren't wearing scarves!"

"I had a curler sighting about a week ago," reports Diane Rumbaugh in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

"A woman sat down right next to me!" says Heather Newcomb of her experience in Cherry Hill, N.J.

"This was the first time I'd seen anyone venture out in public with rollers in as long as I can remember," says Jane Booth of San Diego.

Coast to coast, the rollers are rolling, begging the question: why?

Are these women being trendy? Trashy? Or could they in fact be ushering in a new era of raw female sensuality the likes of which we haven't seen since Sonny met Cher?

Oh, please! It's obviously the latter - a huge new movement with worldwide ramifications. But of course, there are some who argue otherwise.

"Many celebs seem to be wearing big, wavy hair - Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, J.Lo," notes Irma Zandl, head of the trend-watching firm that bears her name. "Maybe there's a little '80s thing happening."

Maybe. But even so, back then we never saw our idols actually futzing with their hair, we only saw the results. Curlers remained offscreen.

So maybe the rollers are simply a symptom of our national slovenliness. "It's totally because of this sloppy trend," says Patty Handschiegel, creator of the Web site StyleDiary.net. "The Olsen twins, Jessica Simpson and Britney - how could we forget Britney? - are photographed all the time in big sweatshirts and baseball hats." Curlers could be just the next rung down.

But the fact is, curlers are more than just casual. They are totemic: utterly female and - until now - utterly shameful.

To don a curler, be it spongy or plastic, "is a symbolic act of sexuality," declares Rich Hanley, a professor of communications at Quinnipiac University. "Curlers say, 'This is a sexual being.' If a woman is wearing them, there's a promise of something good to come."

Desperate housewives know exactly what that something is. Curlers scream they're out to get it. A woman in curlers is carnality incarnate.

Now, maybe the world doesn't recognize that quite yet. But it certainly explains why curlers make men feel so uncomfortable. And just as a century ago pregnant women weren't supposed to be seen in public because their condition was considered so indecent, so the curlered woman has been expected to hide inside.

Until now.

Today the modern goddess ventures forth in a crown of cylinders. She is powerful. A little scary. And about to unfurl a revolution.

Permanently may it wave.

   6 January 2005 - How Desperate Women conquered TV

Source : BBC News

Desperate Housewives is nominated for five Golden Globes. Desperate Housewives gets its UK premiere on Channel 4 on Wednesday after being a smash hit on US TV. The drama series sees Sex and the City meet 1980s hit Knots Landing.

It is set on an up-market street called Wisteria Lane in a picture postcard suburb where the houses are framed by picket fences and their inhabitants live, seemingly, perfect lives.

The truth - and intrigue - lies in the fact that nothing is as it seems. The lives of the four main characters are far from idyllic.

It succeeds because it's a great, sexy, sudsy guilty pleasure that's easy on the eyes Phil Rosenthal, TV critic, Chicago-Sun Times

Susan, played by former Superman star Teri Hatcher, is a single mother who is desperate for a new man in her life.

Lynette (Felicity Huffman) is a frazzled mum who gave up work to look after her unruly kids.

Ex-model Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) is frustrated by her marriage and while her husband is at work takes solace in having sex with the teenage gardener.

But Bree, perhaps the most intriguing character of all, is a Little Miss Perfect.

Marcia Cross believes the show's appeal is its underlying truth

Addicted to keeping an immaculate home - and image in the neighbourhood - she drives her family crazy with her relentless attention to detail.

Their stories are told through the eyes of the show's narrator, Mary Alice, a former resident who recently committed suicide.

"It's unlike any other show that's been on the air and it has an element of very many different brilliant shows that have been on their air," said Marcia Cross, who plays Bree.

"It just covers the gamut in an innovating and groundbreaking way."

Success secrets

The show's tremendous impact on viewers has prompted US critics to analyse its formula for success.

It has been suggested that the tide has finally turned against reality TV in the US and that Desperate

Housewives marks a return to quality, scripted programming.

Gabrielle plays while her husband is out at work

Another theory is that, however fractious, the sense of community on Wisteria Lane appeals to Americans in a post-September 11th world.

But the most popular explanation is that women viewers simply empathise with the show's main characters.

In that sense is it the natural sequel to Sex and the City.

"Women identify with someone who gave up her career and has all these children at home, or another one who's a single mum, or is hidden behind a wall of veneer and her husband wants a divorce", Cross said.

"This is life, this happens. We're going to make you laugh while you're watching it but this is the real deal."

The women gossip and confide in each other but they are not as emotionally close as their Sex and the City counterparts.

Unlike the single women of New York, the housewives of Wisteria Lane live out their fantasies largely in private.


There are also strong male characters - the eligible bachelor, husbands, a widow and the toy boy.

Former Superman star Teri Hatcher makes a return to UK TV screens

The storylines move quickly, week to week, but the loose ends are never quite tied up.

Murder, teenage drug abuse and underage sex are all ingredients in the heady mix of sub-plots.

In true Brookside tradition, there's at least one body secretly buried, if not under the patio.

"Desperate Housewives is an irresistible if imperfect blend of mystery, comedy and soap opera," said Phil Rosenthal, TV critic for the Chicago-Sun Times.

"Ultimately it succeeds because it's a great, sexy, sudsy guilty pleasure that's easy on the eyes."

   6 January 2005 - Sex, wives and videotape

Source : The Scotsman

ONCE UPON A time, there was a place called Wisteria Lane. It was a land of white picket fences and manicured lawns, where children would play hide-and-seek and ride bikes in the street. The mums were all the best of friends, swapping cookie recipes and designer fashion; life was sweet. And then one of them blew her brains out.

Welcome to the world of Desperate Housewives, the new American drama which starts in the UK tonight on Channel 4. It is a popular, if unhappy, place, drawing an average of 21 million US viewers every week, and dubbed the new Sex and the City. It is a dark comedic cocktail of lust, betrayal and discontent, and the Yanks can’t get enough.

If you’d rather not know how tonight’s episode begins, stop reading now. Otherwise, get comfy. Mary Alice Young is one of the aforementioned desperados, who, having made breakfast and dropped the kids off at school, returns home to do the laundry and tidy the lounge. So far, so suburban. She straightens the photos on the mantelpiece and then walks over to her wardrobe. She locates a shoebox, takes out a gun and calmly kills herself.

The series continues to follow her five improbably beautiful friends as they go about their yummy mummy business, which includes illicit relations with gardeners, blackmail and a healthy serving of marital frustration. All of it is narrated by Mary Alice from her posthumous commentary box in the sky.

It is the brainchild of Marc Cherry, a former scriptwriter for the Golden Girls, and one which stems from a genius, if disturbing, muse. As he sat at home watching the trial of Andrea Yates - the infamous Texas mum who drowned her five children - he turned to his own mother and said he couldn’t understand the crime. She simply lit up a cigarette and replied: "I’ve been there."

"I envisaged her as the perfect wife and mother," says Cherry. "That she had a period in her life when she was miserable was astounding to me. I realised that if my mother could be desperate in the life she had chosen, any woman could."

It is that familiarity to which the show owes it success. As dramatic and sensational as its storylines may be, the life sentence that is suburban motherhood is something to which the majority of middle-aged women can relate. So said Oprah Winfrey when she invited the stars on to her talk show, and praised their exposure of America’s "quiet desperation". Given her own target audience, the woman should know, but her point was quickly confirmed by one of the show’s own stars.

Felicity Huffman plays the sole vaguely contented wife of the four leads, Lynette Scavo. Happy with her husband, she is nonetheless a former executive turned desperate mother who genuinely struggles to cope with life after the boardroom. Choosing motherhood, she has discovered, is as much a choice for panic and harassment as it is for blessing and fulfilment.

Huffman herself may not be a housewife, but she is married to actor William H Macy, and together they have two children. In the course of publicising the show she has openly joked about her own maternal desperation, saying she and Macy have often found themselves weighing the positives of having another child against those of giving one away.

But in the same way that Sex and the City revolutionised women’s sex talk, Housewives challenges the boundaries which curb the expression of such thoughts. "I feel that motherhood is the last icon," she says. "It is idealised and marginalised at the same time. It’s not OK to say it’s hard and awful and boring, and I don’t know why. You’re allowed to say that your husband is pissing you off. You’re allowed to say you’re fighting with your good friends. But God forbid you say you hate giving your kids a bath."

Now it’s arrived, it seems obvious that such a show would work. But the fact it has been able to reach miserable women in Middle America, came as a great a surprise to Cherry.

In a nation that gave us the idea of surfing hundreds of channels, a slot on the ABC network is like gold dust. Sex and the City, one of the most successful shows to come out of the US in years, was screened exclusively on the subscription cable channel HBO, limiting its audience to 10.6m per episode. The sexual content and swearing rendered it unworkable for the free nationwide channels, where space is reserved for "family" entertainment.

But in 2004, ABC was struggling. Before Housewives came along, its best effort was Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and its Sunday-night audience figures were in a slump. Along came Cherry with his raunchy tales of marital misery - which, surprisingly, he couldn’t sell to the cable channels - and ABC took the risk. Desperate times indeed but, 21 million viewers later, it’s clear the Desperate Housewives gamble paid off.

Not that the show has been without controversy. The conservative right were unsurprisingly outraged that such a programme would air on prime time TV, even though the nudity is tame in comparison to Sex and the City. Still, 50,000 of them called in to complain when Nicolette Sheridan, who plays Edie, dropped her towel as part of a Housewives-themed promo for ABC’s American football coverage. They went on to pressure many of the drama’s sponsors to withdraw their financial support, and when the American Family Association backed their concerns, the campaign succeeded. Cereal giant Kellogg’s and home improvement chain Lowe’s took their money and walked and, thanks to the massive publicity which followed, ABC hiked the ad rates to $300,000 per 30 seconds.

But there is more than simply a commercial argument to be made. Just as Sex and the City sparked intellectual debate over its celebration of women’s sexual emancipation, Housewives has been condemned as far from empowering. The title alone sounds like it could only have been created by a man - which, of course, it was - and the opening scene leads you only to believe that Mary Alice was at best pitiful, at worst psychotic.

Professor Martha Lauzen, of San Diego State University, compiles an annual study of women’s employment in television, and is not a fan. "It pits women against women, competing for - what else? - men. It shows women as petty, self-centred and scheming."

And Susan Reimer, a feminist and family columnist for the Baltimore Sun, would no doubt applaud that conclusion herself, writing that Housewives is the "newest reason for Muslims to hate us".

But regardless of the furore, Americans love it, and we probably will too. Maybe in time, these feminist arguments will fade; many of the early episodes of Sex and the City were also written by men, a crime which seems to have been forgiven through the rose-tinted lens of critical acclaim. And it’s not just Oprah’s audience who make up the viewers. Forty per cent of the show’s US fanbase is male.

That may be because of its societal insight, or at least that’s what ABC’s senior vice president Mike Benson surmises: "A lot of men can relate to thinking that their wife is desperate." Or perhaps it’s that there are five beautiful women talking about sex and getting - however discreetly - naked.

   6 January 2005 - Desperately seeking sex

Just like your average Shazza and Tracey – not The Express is trying to lure their Sex And The City-starved readership out of their gloom with a bevy of overdressed housewives.

They're hoping that lady types will be cured of their infatuation with Carrie et al by the new American TV series, Desperate Housewives.

And building up the series in a manner that suggests it will never live up to their hype, they've produced a potted guide of all the characters.

Already every 30-ish, female Express-reader with a cat instead of a boyfriend has decided which member of the SATC cast they are.

So now it's time for them to decide which member of the DH (that doesn't work so well, eh?) cast they are.

Since very few Brits girls wear evening gowns when Flymo-ing the front lawn, the similarities are pretty tenuous.

However, if you've given up work for motherhood, been embittered by divorce or feel your hubby doesn't excite you in the bedroom area, you'll find a Desperate Housewife to suit.

There is, fortunately, no Chardonnay-swilling character who spends too much time obsessing over US women having sex on TV to find a man of their own.

   5 January 2005 - Teri Hatcher's speaking

Source : Contact Music


Actress TERI HATCHER found stripping off for US TV show DESPERATE WIVES satisfying - because she was proud to show off her bosom after breast-feeding her daughter.

The 40-year-old star felt liberated to be given the chance to remove her clothes onscreen, seven years after giving birth to EMERSON ROSE.

Hatcher says, "I'm a game girl and will give most things a try.

"There's been talk that some have had plastic surgery, but I breast fed my daughter and my breasts are all mine."


DESPERATE WIVES beauty TERI HATCHER has not had sex for four years and is in no hurry to snare a lover.

The 40-year-old has remained celibate since splitting from husband JON TENNEY and has since devoted herself to raising their seven-year-old daughter EMERSON ROSE.

And Hatcher found it easy to relate to her character on the hit US TV show - a sex-starved, single mother.

She says, "There just isn't any space for it (sex). I don't have a boyfriend because I don't go out on dates. But it's OK - I'm not sad because of it."

   4 January 2005 - A "Desperate" Engagement

Source : E Online

Wisteria Lane's most salacious single is off the market.

Nicollette Sheridan, who plays oversexed Desperate Housewives vamp Edie Britt, has gotten engaged to boyfriend and fellow actor Nicklas Soderblom, her publicist confirmed Monday.

The couple have not disclosed a wedding date.

News of the betrothal first came courtesy of Star magazine, which reported the twosome had spent New Year's at the Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, with the 41-year-old Sheridan flashing a sizable rock.

This will be Sheridan's second trip to the altar, having previously been married to L.A. Law alum Harry Hamlin from 1991 to 1993. Famous former boyfriends include crooner Michael Bolton and onetime teen idol Leif Garrett.

As Paige Matheson on the prime-time sudser Knots Landing from 1986 to 1993, Sheridan was a Hollywood pinup, scoring a nod as one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1990. But after Knots ended, she was consigned to a string of forgettable flicks (Raw Nerve, .com for Murder ) and TV movies (Virus, Dead Husbands) before resurfacing this season in the smash hit Desperate Housewives.

The show, a soapy, campy take on suburbia, has become ABC's biggest hit. It ranks behind only CSI as the most watched show on TV, averaging 22.6 million viewers in its Sunday-night time slot, and its stars have graced the covers of nearly every glossy on newsstands.

Sheridan recently scored a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination for her role. In total, the show scored five Globe nods, including Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress, Musical or Comedy Series for costars Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman.

Sheridan also made headlines earlier this year for her steamy Monday Night Football promo where she dropped a towel for Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens. The FCC is currently reviewing complaints that may result in an indeceny fine for ABC.

Soderblom, meanwhile, is an actor whose most notable credit is, per IMDb.com, as "Mobster Assistant" in the 1997 Traci Lords-headlined thriller Stir. He also appeared as "Featured Male Talent" in the 2000 Playboy video Wet & Wild: Slippery When Wet and had a guest shot as "Juice Bar Attendant" on a 2001 installment of Spin City.

SOAPnet It's the mother of all events! Join SOAPnet this Mother's Day when “One Life to Live's” Bree Williamson hosts a look back at the story of Jess and Tess. “If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother” – 7am ET/PT – 12pm ET/PT on Saturday, May 13. Don't miss it!

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