Desperate titlethem

The Desperate Housewives Logo.

Desperate Housewives is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning American television comedy-drama series, created by Marc Cherry, that began airing on October 3, 2004 on ABC. It is the most popular show in its demographic worldwide, with an audience of approximately 119 million viewers.

The show takes place on the fictional Wisteria Lane in the American suburban town of Fairview, located in the fictional Eagle State. It follows the lives of four women, seen through the eyes of their dead neighbour - only two of whom are actually housewives as of January 2007 - as they work through domestic struggles while several mysteries unfold in the background. Desperate Housewives combines many styles such as: drama, comedy, mystery, thriller, camp, soap opera and satire.

The show stars Golden Globe award winning actresses Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, TV veterans Marcia Cross and Nicollette Sheridan, and rising star Eva Longoria. Since the second pilot episode, Brenda Strong narrates the series. Dana Delany joined the main cast in Season Four.


Season 1 (2004-2005)Edit

Main article: Season One

Season one began airing on October 3, 2004 and featured a total of 23 episodes . The show opens with the mysterious suicide of housewife Mary Alice Young on a beautiful day in the suburbs, on a street called Wisteria Lane. Mary Alice, who narrates the show from the afterlife, had four friends: Bree Van De Kamp, the seemingly-perfect mother (of two teenagers) struggling to save her marriage; Lynette Scavo, the mother of four whose husband is always away on business; Susan Mayer, the divorced mother in search of love, who finds love in the form of her new neighbour Mike Delfino, who has a secret of his own; and Gabrielle Solis, the materialistic ex-runway model who cheats on her husband. While trying to be good wives and mothers, the four friends also try to find out why their friend committed suicide. The discovery of a blackmail note among Mary Alice's belongings, a therapy session tape in which she admits her real name was Angela, and her widowed husband's strange behaviour really make them wonder about the mystery surrounding their deceased friend.

Season 2 (2005-2006)Edit

Main article: Season Two

Season Two began airing September 25, 2005 and featured a total of 23 episodes (including a two-hour season finale) and two clip shows. After discovering Mary Alice's dark secret, the housewives continue to move on with their lives. Bree, whose husband just died, is not coping well with being a widow, and is unknowingly dating the man who poisoned her husband to be with her. Susan, still searching for love after breaking up with Mike, ends up in bed with her ex-husband who is now dating the neighbourhood hussy, Edie Britt. Lynette goes back to her career in advertising, as her husband Tom becomes a stay-at-home dad. And now-pregnant Gabrielle decides to be faithful to her husband Carlos who is now in jail; just as she starts accepting her upcoming motherhood, she suffers a miscarriage. While managing their busy lives, the women cannot help but notice something suspicious about the new neighbours: Betty (played by Alfre Woodard) and Matthew Applewhite, who moved in in the middle of the night, and are keeping a prisoner in their basement.

Season 3 (2006-2007)Edit

Main article: Season Three

Season three began airing September 24, 2006 and features a total of 23 episodes and one clip show. It has been six months since Orson Hodge deliberately ran Mike over with his car. Gabrielle, who found out Carlos cheated on her with their former maid and now surrogate mother, refused to take him back, and now they're getting divorced but both want to raise the unborn child. Bree, who has finally put Rex's death behind her, marries Orson. At their engagement party, a mysterious woman accused him of killing his wife, and Bree can't help but wonder if that's true. Lynette, meanwhile, has to adjust to having another child around the house when Tom's ex is killed and they have to take her daughter in. Ultimately she quits her job at the advertising agency to start a pizzeria with Tom. Susan, who had been waiting for Mike to wake up from his coma, is shocked when she finds out her nemesis Edie has been posing as his girlfriend, since he has amnesia. And Edie has her nephew Austin move to Wisteria Lane, after she finds him trying to break into her house.

Season 4 (2007-2008)Edit

Main article: Season Four

On March 21, 2007 ABC announced that it has renewed Desperate Housewives for a fourth season. Filming should start about a week after the season three finale has aired. The season is due to premiere on ABC on September 23, 2007.[2]

Season 5 (2008-2009)Edit

Main article: Season Five

Season five begain airing September 28, 2008 and features a total of 24 episodes. This season takes place five years after the events of Season 4. We see that over the five years Susan and Mike have divorced after a terrible car accident, Lynette has fully recovered from her cancer, Bree has been reunited with Orson and is now a successful cookbook author, Gabrielle is still caring for a blind Carlos and has let herself go with two kids and Edie has moved from Wisteria Lane but has just moved back with a new husband. This season also deals with the surprise romance between Katherine and Mike.

Season 6 (2009-2010)Edit

Main article: Season Six

The sixth season premiered on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 9pm. The first half of the season, consisted of the conflict between Lynette and Gabrielle as Lynette attempted to sue Carlos, Julie being attacked by an unknown person, Katherine's eventual breakdown at losing Mike to Susan and Bree's affair with Karl, which ended tragically when Karl's hired plane came into contact with the two of them and Orson. The second half of the season focused on Katherine experimenting with her sexuality, Lynette inviting the Fairview strangler to stay with them and then finding out the truth, the conflict between Bree's stepson Sam and Andrew and the solving of the Bolen mystery.

Season 7 (2010-2011)Edit

The seventh season will premiere on September 26, 2010.



Cherry initially had pitched the series to HBO, CBS, NBC, Fox, Showtime, and Lifetime. ABC was the only network to accept Cherry's offer, although they initially weren't satisfied with the name, suggesting titles like Wisteria Lane and The Secret Lives of Housewives instead.

Before Touchstone offered Desperate Housewives to ABC, in the original pilot, Mary Alice Young was played by Sheryl Lee; John the Gardner by Kyle Searles; and Rex Van De Kamp by Michael Reilly Burke. Lee was replaced by Brenda Strong; both had played regular roles as dead people before, Strong on Everwood and Lee on Twin Peaks. Strong also guest starred in two Twin Peaks episodes during their second season. Also, in the original pilot, when the camera is pulling away from the housewives after they found the note, there is a ghost of Mary Alice standing on her lawn looking at them.


One of the biggest inspirations for the show was the film American Beauty. The series has also been likened to other TV shows such as Knots Landing, Twin Peaks, and Sex and the City. In relation to its comparison with Sex and the City, Eva Longoria on Oprah mentioned that she hopes Desperate Housewives can do for married women what Sex and the City did for single women.

Opening creditsEdit

The show's opening credits contain references to famous pieces of art, including Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck, American Gothic by Grant Wood, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup can. Also alluded to are the lesser known Couple Arguing and Romantic Couple by Robert Dale (drawn in a comic book style similar to that of Roy Lichtenstein) and a 1940s Am I Proud! poster by Dick Williams (showing a woman holding cans).

The show's theme is composed by Danny Elfman.


Since its US premiere, Desperate Housewives has been broadcasted by the ABC network, with reruns on Lifetime Television. In addition it has been sold to over fifty countries worldwide.

Future of the showEdit

In February 2007, it was reported that Cherry and key castmembers have been contracted until May 2011 (the end of the series' seventh season). Cherry indicated that he would like the show to run for at least seven seasons. Although many people think that Desperate Housewives has been renewed through 2011 this is not the case. The show's run will depend on it's ratings, should ratings fall considerably in the near future then the show would be cancelled however at the current time it is likely the show will run until the planned end.

Cast and charactersEdit

Main castEdit

  • Teri Hatcher - Susan Mayer
  • Felicity Huffman - Lynette Scavo
    Main housewifes

    The leading ladies; Katherine, Bree, Susan, Mary Alice, Gabrielle, Edie and Lynette.

  • Marcia Cross - Bree Van De Kamp Hodge
  • Eva Longoria - Gabrielle Solis
  • Nicollette Sheridan - Edie Britt (Season 1-5)
  • Dana Delany - Katherine Mayfair (Season 4-present)
  • Alfre Woodard - Betty Applewhite (Season 2, guest starring previous)
  • Steven Culp - Rex Van De Kamp (Season 1, guest starring afterwards)
  • Ricardo Antonio Chavira - Carlos Solis
  • Mark Moses - Paul Young (Season 1-2, guest starring afterwards)
  • Doug Savant - Tom Scavo (Season 2-3, guest starring previous)
  • Andrea Bowen - Julie Mayer (Season 1-4)
  • Cody Kasch - Zach Young (Season 1-2, guest starring afterwards)
  • Jesse Metcalfe - John Rowland (Season 1, guest starring afterwards)
  • Richard Burgi - Karl Mayer (Season 2, guest starring otherwise)
  • Kyle MacLachlan - Orson Hodge (Season 3, guest starring previous)
  • Shawn Pyfrom -Andrew Van De Kamp (Season 5, guest starring previous)
  • Brenda Strong - Mary Alice Young
  • James Denton - Mike Delfino

Supporting CharactersEdit

  • Joy Lauren - Danielle Van De Kamp (Season 2-3, guest starring previous)
  • Roger Bart - George Williams (Season 2, guest starring previous)
  • Mehcad Brooks - Matthew Applewhite (Season 2, guest starring previous)
  • Josh Henderson - Austin McCann (Season 3, up until episode 62)
  • Brent Kinsman - Preston Scavo (Season 2-3, guest starring previous)
  • Shane Kinsman - Porter Scavo (Season 2-3, guest starring previous)
  • Zane Huett - Parker Scavo (Season 2-3, guest starring previous)
  • Page Kennedy - Caleb Applewhite (Season 2, up until episode 30)
  • Nashawn Kearse - Caleb Applewhite (Season 2, starting with episode 31)

Guest castEdit

The show has so far had about one hundred recurring actors in addition to the main cast.

Casting triviaEdit

Marcia Cross and Doug Savant were both regulars, at some point in time, on the 90's drama, Melrose Place. Desperate Housewives guest star Matt Roth (Art Shephard) also guest starred on Melrose Place during its first season. The casting of Harriet Sansom Harris as Felicia Tilman marked the second time Marc Cherry cast her and Desperate Housewives guest star Christine Estabrook (Martha Huber) as sisters, the first being a 1995 episode of The Crew. Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher are the only cast members to have appeared in every episode of the series so far. All of the current main cast except Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge) have been on the show since the very beginning.

Filming locationsEdit

See also: Wisteria Lane

The set for the street, comprising facades of houses, is located on the Universal Studios backlot. It is referred to by film crews as Colonial Street, and before Desperate Housewives it was used in several motion pictures and televisions shows, starting in the 1950s.

For the first 14 episodes of season one, scenes set in Bree's living room were filmed inside the Young house on the street. To cover up the similarities between the rooms, most of the Youngs' scenes took place in a fictional area of the house, which only existed on a sound stage.

From the outside, Bree's home has a set of windows either side of the front porch. However indoors, windows can only be seen on one side of the front door. This is because the inside of Bree's house is actually shot on a soundstage.

On the street, Lynette's green house is simply a facade, and Bree's house functions solely as restrooms for the production crew.

At the end of Wisteria Lane, by Edie's house, there is a cul-de-sac. However, cars are seen both entering and leaving the neighborhood from there.

The former home of the Applewhites' was also used as the exterior of Herman and Lily Munster in The Munsters. Late in the first season the house underwent a facelift to become less recognisable as the home from The Munsters.

One of the main reasons for Susan burning down Edie's home was that it could be opened up inside, making filming easier for the production crew.

Reception and critical reactionsEdit

The show was the big success of the 2004-2005 television season, and gained much critical acclaim. Its pilot episode which aired in October 2004, gained a stunning 21.3 million viewers making it the best new drama for the year, the highest rated show of the week, and also the best performance by a pilot for ABC, since Spin City in 1996.

In the footsteps of the show, the term "desperate housewives" became a cultural phenomenon. This warranted "real" desperate housewives features in magazines and TV shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Dr. Phil Show. The show, along with Lost, has been credited with reviving ABC's ratings. Later on, Grey's Anatomy, and more recently, Ugly Betty have helped further this revival. Prominent names like Oprah Winfrey and Michele Lee have stated that they are fans of the show.


During the show's first and second season the show was rated the 4th most watched show in U.S. television, with 23.71 million viewers during season one[4] and 22.2 million viewers during season two.[5] Ratings dipped season three as 26% fewer viewers tuned in compared to the first season.[citation needed]

Notable awardsEdit

By the end of the first season, all the housewives except Eva Longoria were nominated for both a Golden Globe and Emmy. Longoria responded with a skit in the Emmys with Ellen DeGeneres mocking her situation. The following year all four were nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy.

This is a list of the Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards that the show has won.

Golden Globe Awards

2005 Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy: Teri Hatcher Best TV Series: Musical or Comedy 2006 Best TV Series: Musical or Comedy Primetime Emmy Awards

2005 Outstanding Guest Actress in A Comedy Series: Kathryn Joosten Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Felicity Huffman Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Charles McDougall for "Pilot" Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series ("Pilot") Screen Actors Guild Awards

2005 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Teri Hatcher Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series 2006 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Felicity Huffman Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Amas de casa desesperadasEdit

In Argentina an adaptation has been made involving popular Argentinian actors and actresses, filmed in this country and aired by Canal 13. The original screenplay has been translated to Spanish as well as many names in order to be as true to the original as possible. Most of the Argentinians who had watched Desperate Housewives before are not satisfied with this adaptation. Episodes aired between August 30, 2006 and January 24, 2007 covered the series' first season. There has not yet been announced if there will be a second season of this adaptation.

The soundstage will also be used to adaptations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

For more information visit - official site in Spanish - or in English for names.

Other mediaEdit

DVD ReleasesEdit

DVD Name Reg. 1 Reg. 2 Reg. 3 Reg. 4 Reg. 5 No of discs No of episodes
The Complete First Season September 20, 2005 October 10, 2005 November 28, 2005 July 18, 2006 6 23
The Complete Second Season August 30, 2006 November 13, 2006 October 4, 2006 June 28, 2007 6 (Reg. 1 & 4)
7 (Reg. 2 & 3)
The Complete Third Season September 4, 2007 November 5, 2007 Ocober 31, 2007 6 23
The Complete Fourth Season September 2, 2008 TBA 2008 TBA 2008 TBA 2008 5 17

Note: In Belgium and the Netherlands (Region 2), the DVD for season 2 was released on September 06.


In 2005, British company Re:creation published Desperate Housewives Dirty Laundry Game, a board game based on season one of Desperate Housewives. Players attempt to guess their opponents' secrets while keeping clues to their own secrets concealed by answering trivia questions.

Buena Vista Games released the sim computer game Desperate Housewives: The Game in 2006. The game is set in Wisteria Lane and features an original storyline spanning 12 episodes. You do not play as one of the housewives, but meet them frequently in the game. They are not voiced by the original cast, however, only by sound-alikes.

Gameloft released the Puzzle/mind game called Desperate Housewives in 2006, twenty four exclusive episodes were written by one of the writers to the show. You play as the housewives, a few others and a new character on a board with dices to reach for three clues before the computer gets them. Including trivia pop-quizzes and puzzels once in a while on certain spots.


In September 2005, Universal Music released Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives.

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Desperate_Housewives. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Wiksteria Lane, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.