It’s official: the iconic ABC series Desperate Housewives is coming to an end this year. The series that helped re-build ABC from the slump that it was in, along with Lost, will conclude its eighth and final season this upcoming May. Creator of the series, Marc Cherry, confirmed the news Sunday at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills.
Cherry told reporters that he wanted the show to end on a strong note and not be known in the history books as a show that outlived its welcome for the sake of ratings. “I wanted to go out when the network still saw us as a viable show and a force to contend with,” Cherry said. “We felt from a creative standpoint that this was the right time. I feel so good about it.”
Cherry also spoke to reporters about some of the reactions he received when he told the show’s top actresses that the series that they’ve worked on for seven years was going to come to an end. “It was bittersweet and lovely, because the women knew there was the possibility… They said some very lovely things to me about how I’ve changed their lives and careers,” he said. “I truly, truly love every one of them. [They] fill me up with such emotion inside; I love my cast. [They’re] people who are smart enough to be grateful.”
President of ABC, Paul Lee, also weighed in on the decision to cancel the series. “It’s an iconic show and we’re extremely proud of it,” said Lee. “I just wanted to make sure it had its victory lap.”
Last season, the series took a dip in the ratings and hit new lows during its run, placing #26 in the primetime leaderboard, its lowest ranking ever. While low ratings haven’t been publicly talked about, that is likely another factor that played into canceling the series. The show, however, still brought in an average 11.85 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the coveted adults 18-49 rating that advertisers like targeting. In its first season, it drew an average 23.7 million viewers and a 10.6 18-49 rating, which was at the time good enough to be amongst the top drawing shows on television next to American Idol and CSI.