Desperate Housewives, the series that helped rejuvenate the primetime soap genre and the then fledgling ABC line-up in 2004, will end after its eighth season.
ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee confirmed the news during the Television Critics Association’s Press Tour on Sunday. “Desperate Housewives is an iconic show, and we’re really proud of it. I wanted to make sure that this show that put this network on the map, certainly the new brand of this network for the last six or seven years, had its victory lap – and had its chance to really set out every episode and build an arc for its 22 episodes so that we could say goodbye.”
When Housewives launched in 2004, no one had any idea it would turn into such a cultural phenomenon. The series not only re-invented ABC, but it helped re-invent the careers of stars Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, and helped launched the career of the then-fairly newcomer Eva Longoria. Housewives went against the norm in Hollywood, featuring its starring cast of women over 40 years old. Though the series would dominate its timeslot, garnering almost 30 million viewers at its peak, it’s seen its ratings decrease steadily over the last few seasons, averaging 12 million viewers last year. As the series as aged, the cost of production and actors salaries has continued to grow.
“I’ve been in this business for 23 years, and I’m very aware of people overstaying their welcome,” said creator Marc Cherry. “I just didn’t want that to happen to Desperate Housewives. I wanted to go out in the classiest way possible.”