Dirty Dishes from Desperate Housewives

It’s a desperate situation … while US-fans of Desperate Housewives can look forward to the final 6 episodes of season 5 (episodes 23 and 24 airing as back to back finale on May 17) here in Germany we are back in waiting position since Pro7 has decided to send the housewives into the “summer break” after airing episode 13 of season 5 last wednesday (which clearly is NOT a good episode to air before a multi-month break, since it includes NO cliffhanger whatsoever but comes across as a “filler”-episode instead).

So what am I supposed to do till this fall? Well, for now the jucy details from behind the scenes keep me entertained just as good as the show itself did recently … to learn what I am talking about read the rest of the post – but be warned there is at least one spoiler included regarding the character of Edie Britt (played by Nicolette Sheridan) – if you want to avoid the spoiler, return to this post after watching the (in the US) upcoming episode to be aired coming Sunday, April 19.

So here we go … as you might have already known – or in the meantime watched on ABC if you waited with reading this post – Edie Britt left the show by way of her car accident i.e. as her character dies. So one “Desperate Housewive” less in the show – and one that was always good for stirring it up. But why did she die? Did the authors run out of ideas for her character? Well, turns out the answer to that question is: NO!

TV Guide Magazine talked to Marc Cherry, the creative mind behind “Desperate Housewives”, who told the US-magazine that “there has been tremendous pressure put on me to find ways to cut costs“. ABC forced him to cut corners and reduce the costs of the cast: “The network is saying to all the shows: ‘The company is really hurting financially. You must find a way to produce these shows more cheaply“. He claims that the decision to kill off Edie was due to that request – afterall rumor mills claim Nicolette Sheridan earned between $100,000 and 200,000 per episode.

Marc Cherry went into further detail explaining that the requested reduction in casting costs did hit Nicolette Sheridan because he asked himself “What characters do I need to go forward? Edie’s already slept with most of the guys on the street and has caused about as many problems as she could“. In other words: her story was completely told.

Hmm … looking at the line-up of ABC one needs to wonder whether that is a wise decision … there aren’t that many hit shows left. Yes, “Desperate Housewives” has lost some of the original shine, but is still a rather save bet for ABC, while more recent shows (such as “Dirty Sexy Money”, “Elie Stone” or “Pushing Daisies”) have got rave reviews but failed to connect with the viewers and got cancelled.

I guess we need to wait and see how this will impact future episodes / stories. For sure the authors lost a valuable character that could be used to stirr up everything when needed and provide a counterpoint to the lifestyle and the alleged values of the other “Desperate Housewives”. Edie is going to be missed on the show … not only by the viewers I think but also by some of the authors who might need to think a bit further now to solve certain situations and stirr things up.

However, I wouldn’t go as far as Nicolette Sheridan, who is clearly upset by the decision to kill her character off and according to TV Guide Magazine asked “When you have a jewel, why not polish it and put it out there for all to see?”. According to a report by the German magazine Spiegel Online she went so far to say that killing Edie off means taking a risk that could have devastating results for the show. Hmmm … really? I think Edie was a funny, well developed character, which used to be helpful for the show, but devastating results? I can’t see that, since she was IMHO always more of a side-character and not so central to show. Heck, she never made it into the opening sequence! This sounds as if there might be more juicy details to be detailed and the TV Guide Magazine hints that the full story will only be found in the April 20 issue of the magazine…

In the meantime I am wondering: is Nicolette Sheridan already regretting what she told TV Guide Magazine? Afterall Marc Cherry might not be too happy about her comments (and what ABC thinks noone knows). How else could one explain the comments that USA Today is citing in its “Lifeline Live” section online?  There it is claimed that upon hearing of Edie’s death she said: “I said, ‘OK, sayonara,’ It’s been a great ride. Thank you. […] When the show started it was such a different beast. It was exciting and dangerous and funny and edgy and bizarre, It started feeling a little complacent, and that was very frustrating.” Hmm, while this doesn’t sound like no feelings were hurt, there is less of an attack on the show in that one…

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