Saturday, May 2, 2009

TheTVObserver: Desperate Housewives

TheTVObserver's OnTheProgram presents Desperate Housewives an hour drama. It is a sexy soap opera that examines the secret lives of housewives living in the same suburban cul-de-sac. Darkly comic story is narrated by one housewife who commits suicide rather than face up to her own deep dark secret.

Program creator: Marc Cherry; and Air date of first episode: Oct 3, 2004.

This program was a hit from first episode and I have often found it interesting, the amount of men who actually enjoy the show. I was in a late meeting one day, when this guy asked us to break for an hour to clear our heads and maybe get something to eat. We thought it was a great idea. Then he asked where is the nearest TV set, only to find out that Desperate Housewives was on. We laughed but it turns out, him and his wife are addicted to the series. We call him DH.

The setting of the show is the street of Wisteria Lane in the fictional American town of Fairview, Eagle State. It follows the lives of a group of women, seen through the eyes of their dead neighbor, as they work through domestic struggles and family life, while facing the secrets, crimes and mysteries hidden behind the doors of their—at the surface—beautiful and seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood.

The show features an ensemble cast, headed by Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp and Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis. Brenda Strong narrates the show as the deceased Mary Alice Young, appearing sporadically in flashbacks or dreams.

Since its premiere on ABC on October 3, 2004, the show has been well received by the critics as well as the audience. The show is a multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award winner, and in April 2007 it was reported to be the most popular show in its demographic worldwide, with an audience of approximately 115 to 119 million viewers.

Prior to Desperate Housewives, Cherry was best known for producing and writing episodes of Touchstone Television’s hit comedy series The Golden Girls and its successor The Golden Palace.

Initially Cherry had a hard time getting any television network interested in his new series – HBO, CBS, NBC, Fox, Showtime, and Lifetime all turned his offer down.

he ABC executives weren’t initially satisfied with the name of the new show, suggesting Wisteria Lane and The Secret Lives of Housewives instead, but on October 23, 2003, Desperate Housewives was announced by ABC, presented as a prime time soap opera created by Charles Pratt Jr. of Melrose Place fame, and Marc Cherry, who declared the new show to be a mix of Knots Landing and American Beauty.

Executive producers for the first two seasons were – in addition to Marc Cherry – Tom Spezialy and Michael Edelstein. Spezialy, who also served as a staff writer for the show, left his previous position as writer and executive producer for Dead Like Me to join the Desperate Housewives crew. He had also worked as writer and co-executive producer on several shows, among them Ed, Jack and Jill, and Parker Lewis Can't Lose, while Edelstein had been the executive producer of Threat Matrix and Hope & Faith.

Second season conflicts arose among the executive producers. As a result, Edelstein left the show mid-season, and at the end of the season, so did Spezialy. For the third year, Cherry was joined by award winning writer and producer Joe Keenan, of Frasier fame, and telefilm producer George W. Perkins, who had been on the Desperate Housewives crew since the show’s conception.

Desperate Housewives is filmed on Panavision 35 mm cameras; it is broadcast in standard and 16:9 widescreen high definition, though it is framed for the 4:3 aspect ratio

The set for Wisteria Lane, consisting mainly of facades but also of some proper houses, is located on the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot. It is referred to by film crews as Colonial Street, and has been used for several motion pictures and television shows since the mid 1940s.

The initial idea for the show opening sequence was Cherry’s own, and after having asked sixteen companies to come up with suggestions how to best realize it, the producers finally hired Hollywood-based yU+co to provide the final version.

The music for the openings is composed by Danny Elfman, and has been awarded both an Emmy Award and the BMI TV Music Award

In December 2006 it was announced that the characters of Bree, Gabrielle, Edie, Susan and Lynette were to be made into 16 inches (41 cm) tall fashion dolls, produced by Madame Alexander. In 2007 they were released in a limited edition of 300 pieces each. A perfume was also released, named Forbidden Fruit.

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 February 20, 2007, Variety Magazine revealed that Marc Cherry and the ABC Studios had signed “an eight-figure overall pact”, ensuring Cherry’s commitment to the show until May 2011, the end of the series’ projected seventh season. In addition, the studio has negotiated deals with “all key members of the cast” to stay on the show until then. While Cherry said that he would like the show to come to an end at that point, ABC Studio’s Mark Pedowitz stated that “We'll cross that bridge when we come to it”

We give DH a four star rating. Enjoy the show tomorrow, Mar 3rd when Gale Harold returns after his accident.

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Great Prime Time Soap
Perfect Casting

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