Monday, January 7, 2008

Writers' strike can't stop a whirlwind of story ideas

The writers' strike has forced Desperate Housewives into a decidedly desperate dilemma.

Unlike many other top-rated shows, Housewives' serialized story lines are intended to unravel over a full season.

So "once I'm allowed to start writing again, I've got a big challenge ahead of me," concedes series creator Marc Cherry. "I need to know how many episodes I'm coming back to. I'm not like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, where every episode has its beginning, middle and end."

Sunday's episode was the last one shot before the strike, and Cherry, who is on the Writers Guild of America negotiating committee, believes the strike will "definitely" continue for at least another month. He is even considering the possibility that last night's episode could be his Season 4 finale. "We might strike until April, and then I don't know what (ABC) would want to do. I would love to have two solid months to plan out Season 5."

As a striking writer forbidden from putting pen to paper, Cherry has been able to only ponder the fates of his characters. "It's weird for me," he says. "For me, the most difficult thing about the strike is what it's doing to my mystery story line (involving Dana Delany's character, Katherine Mayfair). I don't know how many episodes will remain in Season 4, so I have no idea how to plot the ending, or if the story line will spill into Season 5. There are some story lines you can't wrap up quickly."

But Cherry does have some definitive plans for the main housewives. After the storm, Bree (Marcia Cross) and her family will be living with Susan (Teri Hatcher) for a spell. Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) will be adjusting to life with a blind Carlos as they plan their remarriage. Having survived her cancer battle, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) will have what Cherry calls a "religious awakening" and attempt to get her family to attend church.

And though Lynette's children didn't die in the tornado, the kids aren't out of the woods just yet.

"I will probably do a story line about one of the women, probably Lynette, dealing with the death of a child because I think it's one of the saddest things that can happen to a human being," Cherry confides.

"And then again," he adds, "I may never do it."

Source: USA Today

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