At this point in 2019, nothing is off the table when it comes to TV revivals, from The Twilight Zone to Ghost Hunters to other shows that aren't as creepy. Fans of ABC's Desperate Housewives, which ended its celebrated eight-season run in 2012, are experiencing a different kind of seven-year itch in wanting to see the women of Wisteria Lane return for more murderous mayhem. Creator Marc Cherry isn't exactly eager to scratch that itch, however.
Marc Cherry was on-hand at the Television Critics Association summer press tour to promote his devilish new CBS All Access series Why Women Kill, starring Elementary vet Lucy Liu and Once Upon a Time's Ginnifer Goodwin. Following the Why Women Kill panel, Cherry spoke with CinemaBlend and a handful of other outlets, and he was asked if he would be interested in a Desperate Housewives revival if not all of the main cast members such as Teri Hatcher (who'd love to come back) or Eva Longoria could return. Here's how Cherry answered:
I did 180 episodes of Desperate Housewives. So you know, unlike say a Sex and the City or something, which was on cable and didn't do as many, I feel like I've done that. And in a weird way, I found a new way to do it. So many of the themes that I get to deal with are on [Why Women Kill].
That answer may sound disappointing to those who have been the most anxious to see more from Susan, Bree, Gabrielle and Lynette's lives away from Wisteria. However, do take comfort in Marc Cherry's assertion that the DNA of Desperate Housewives' thematic complexities are very much on display within the anthologized Why Women Kill. Even people who don't know Cherry by name could draw conclusions that both female-driven shows were drawn from the same creative well, and the fanbases will likely mesh superbly well.
Instead of a neighborhood where people end up dying arguably prematurely, the darkly comedic drama Why Women Kill centers on a single household across three different timelines, and the textured relationships of the couples that lived there during each span. From Ginnifer Goodwin's doting-to-a-fault Beth Ann to Lucy Liu's extravagant extrovert Simone to Kirby Howell-Baptiste's happily polyamorous Taylor, these characters would likely share in some hilariously boozy brunches if they ever met up with the Desperate Housewives crew.
Marc Cherry spoke further about why he's currently happy with Why Women Kill, which is his first streaming TV creation, and what he particularly doesn't want to return to in terms of Desperate Housewives storytelling.
Also, doing streaming, I do ten episodes, and then it's over. The thing I went through that was so difficult on [Desperate Housewives] was cliffhangers. 'Okay, I've got to do a cliffhanger every year, and they're lives have to change completely, and oh god, that's so hard!' You know, just doing ten episodes at a time, it feels like a much more manageable prospect, and I feel I've done my Masters program, and this is my doctoral thesis right here, so that's kind of how I'm feeling about it.
The "shorter seasons" sentiment is something that a lot of showrunner and executive producers (not to mention actors) have talked about in terms of the advantages of what streaming has to offer over broadcast and cable television. It all depends on the project, really. With Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry had the will and the opportunity to tell a large, overarching story that lasted many years and outlasted many characters' lives. With Why Women Kill, though, he's got a different and simpler set-up (in most respects) that won't require him to keep viewers dangling between seasons.
Granted, there's a lot of fun to be had when a TV season ends on game-changing twists or cliffhangers like the ones that Desperate Housewives regularly offered up. With only ten episodes to this initial storyline, Why Women Kill won't be able to wrap up on a mystery wedding or a narrative evolving time jump. That said, Marc Cherry did note that the Why Women Kill Season 1 finale will be bonkers, so it might just be the closest fans will get to a full-blown Housewives cliffhanger.
Plus, the elephant in the room here is that the Desperate Housewives finale's final minutes did tip viewers off to what everyone was doing with Wisteria in the rear-view mirror, so a revival may need to amend some things to bring everyone together again. Now, if someone wanted to make the argument for a semi-reboot that centered on that woman who was hiding her box of secrets, that's another thing. For now, though, there's Lucy Liu as a 1980s fashionista.
Check out the tantalizing trailer for Why Women Kill below.
Also starring Alexandra Daddario, Reid Scott, Jack Davenport and Sam Jaeger, Why Women Kill will make its fashionable debut on CBS All Access on Thursday, August 15.