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‘Devious Maids’ Team Discuss Risk Taking, Spanking & Eva Longoria’s Directing

‘Devious Maids’ Team Discuss Risk Taking, Spanking & Eva Longoria’s DirectingImage (2) Awardsline-logo_use-this-one__140529211810-275x38.jpg for post 738599There is nothing more precious for a show creator in this day and age than the trust and the full creative support of a TV network.  At the Awardsline screening for Lifetime‘s Devious Maids Monday night, creator Marc Cherry revealed one kinky scene the network let him get away with. Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Devious Maids’ Second Life After Its Death At ABC; Creator Marc Cherry Q&A

By | Saturday June 7, 2014 @ 3:47pm PDT

Awardsline logo_use this oneOnce a broadcast network rejects a TV pilot it has shot, it’s not common that the show will go on to live a second life on another network.  Such was the fate of Marc Cherry‘s Devious Maids, the second series he developed with ABC following his Sunday cornerstone Desperate Housewives.  It seemed like a surefire programming choice for the alphabet network’s fall 2012 season.  But in June 2012, network executives’ minds changed. Here Cherry recounts the resuscitation of Devious Maids on Lifetime, how the show became a flagship for Latino actresses and the longevity of dramedies, such as his previous hit Desperate Housewives, at the Emmys.      

Marc CherryDEADLINE: How did Devious Maids  come together? What sparked your interest in adapting the Mexican soap opera Ellas son…la Alegria del Hogar?
MARC CHERRY: I got a call from my agent that this consortium of producers known as Oasis Entertainment. They buy different formats from countries around the world. They had this show about maids from Mexico and they brought it to me thinking I could do the American version. I took a look at it. They showed me a five minute sizzle reel to catch me up to speed on the show, and it looked a lot like Desperate Housewives, so I actually passed because I already did this show.  A few days went by and I kept thinking about the show and it brought back a lot of Devious Maids memories when I was working in Bel-Air as Dixie Carter’s personal assistant.  I would go to her home every day, Monday-Friday, and I was 25, so I had just moved to Hollywood. And it was interesting, because it was the first time in my life, having grown up upper middle class in Orange County, that I was the help, for lack of a better phrase. There were a lot of people working in her home – there were two housekeepers, a cook, a chauffeur, a yoga instructor – actually a comically, crazy household that deserves its own sitcom.  It was an entertaining place to be. I love Hal Holbrook and Dixie, they were dear to me. It started a full circle thing in my head, and many years have past, and now I have people who work in my home. I’ve seen these issues from both sides, there’s nothing quite like working in someone’s home because you are exposed to the most intimate parts of their life. It’s not a workplace like an office building, college or police station. It’s something more intimate and delicate. I thought, ‘I have a perspective on this.’ Read More »

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Nicollette Sheridan Loses Bid For Second ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT

It’s finally over — at least for now. LA Superior Judge Michael Stern today sided with ABC/Touchstone TV and granted a summary judgement dismissing Nicollette Sheridan’s latest attempt to for a new trial over being dropped from Desperate Housewives. Stern’s ruling was primarily based on the actress not filing a complaint with the California Labor Commission within six months of the September 2008 incident where Sheridan claims show executive producer/creator Marc Cherry struck her on set. ‘It was the right result and the judge’s analysis was spot on. The judge followed Supreme Court precedent that required that Ms. Sheridan’s last remaining claim be dismissed with prejudice,” attorney Adam Levin, representing ABC/Touchstone, told me after the hearing. Sheridan’s last trial ended in a mistrial in March 2012 after the jury deadlocked 8-4. Dramatically trimmed down from her original multimillion-dollar case, Sheridan was now just claiming that she had been fired from the primetime soap in 2009 because she spoke out against working conditions on the series. Even if the case had gone forward, it was going to be a hard one as Cherry was dismissed as a defendant in the original case in early 2012. If ABC’s motion had failed, the retrial was set to start December 2. Attorneys for Sheridan are expected to appeal Read More »

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Producers Praise Cable Nets’ Flexibility, Despite Tight Budgets: Cable Show

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 9:38am PDT

That was the overall consensus  from a panel of producers at the cable industry trade show this morning that featured Marc Cherry (who created Desperate Housewives), Mark Johnson (Executive Producer of Breaking Bad), and Joe Weisberg (creator of The Americans). “Some of the most exciting work is being done on cable,” says Cherry who’s about to introduce Devious Maids on Lifetime. Networks are “so hungry for viewers that they’re willing to take risks.” He relishes the opportunity to develop a series without having to generate 23 or more episodes. With the intense plotting of a soap opera “the workload is just overwhelming…You can kind of feel it around episode 14 where the story starts to not make sense.” With Devious Maids “I had every episode plotted out. I couldn’t do that” with Desperate Housewives. Weisberg says he “didn’t think I had it in me” to handle the broadcast networks’ demands. “In cable you could do 13 episodes and then take a couple of months off.” Read More »

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‘Devious Maids’ Pilot Sneak Will Be In English And Spanish In Reach-Out To Latino Viewers

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT

The initiative makes sense for the upcoming Lifetime drama series, which was created by Desperate HousewivesMarc Cherry and counts Eva Longoria among its exec producers. Devious Maids is based on the hit Televisa telenovela Ellas Son La Alegría Del Hogar and centers on five Latina maids (Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramírez, Roselyn Sánchez, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes) with ambition and dreams of their own while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills — with murder and intrigue thrown into the mix. The network is making the pilot episode available early on digital platforms beginning Sunday in both English and Spanish. The sneak peak comes ahead of the series’ on-air debut June 23. Following the premiere, Lifetime will make each episode available in both languages the day after its Sunday 10 PM airing. “We are thrilled to work with our distribution partners on making Devious Maids available in both English and Spanish to maximize the show’s crossover appeal among the broadest range of their customers”, said Rob Sharenow, Lifetime’s EVP and General Manager. Read More »

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Lifetime Picks Up Marc Cherry’s ‘Devious Maids’ To Series For 2013 Launch

By | Friday June 22, 2012 @ 12:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Marc Cherry‘s pilot Devious Maids is going to series at Lifetime. The cable network has handed a 13-episode order to the ABC Studios-produced project, originally developed for ABC where it received a pilot order this past season but missed the cut to series. Devious Maids is slated to launch on Lifetime in 2013. “This show and Marc Cherry’s unique story telling voice perfectly articulate Lifetime’s strategy of attracting top-tier creatives with their most original and exciting projects,” Lifetime’s president Nancy Dubuc and EVP Rob Sharenow said in a joint statement.

Based on the hit Mexican telenovela Ellas son la Alegría del Hogar, Devious Maids follows the lives of five maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. It stars Ana Ortiz, Judy Reyes, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez as well as Susan Lucci, Edy Ganem, Grant Show, Brianna Brown, Rebecca Wisocky, Tom Irwin, Mariana Klaveno, Brett Cullen and Drew Van Acker. I hear the pilot will undergo some tweaking and reshoots in its move to Lifetime. One of the regular roles, played in the pilot by Angelique Cabral, will likely be eliminated. Production on the series will be based in Atlanta, which provides tax intensives vs. Los Angeles where the pilot was shot. 

Related: Lifetime Eyes Marc Cherry’s ABC Dramedy Pilot ‘Devious Maids’

Lifetime began exploring the possibility of a Devious Maids Read More »

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EMMYS: Marc Cherry On ‘Desperate Housewives’

By | Wednesday June 13, 2012 @ 10:59pm PDT

Ray Richmond is a contributor to AwardsLine.

Boardwalk EmpireIt’s only June, but this has already been kind of a rough year for Marc Cherry. The wrongful termination suit filed against ABC Studios and ABC by Nicollette Sheridan ended in a mistrial on March 19. A retrial was scheduled to go forward beginning Desperate HousewivesSeptember 10, but has been temporarily stayed pending resolution of certain issues. In May, ABC passed on taking Cherry’s new hourlong pilot Devious Maids to series, the same week that his Desperate Housewives wrapped its run on the network after eight seasons. (Devious Maids has since been shopped to Lifetime.) Yet Cherry refused to be downbeat in a recent interview, reflecting on the wild ride that was Housewives.

AWARDSLINE: When you look back, what are you proudest of with regard to this show?
MARC CHERRY: Well, personally I’m just proud that I created something that helped me pay my bills because I was so flat broke. You know, I was borrowing money from my mother to stay afloat, and that was kind of uncomfortable. Professionally, I think just the fact that the show had a very original voice. I created a tone for network television that they hadn’t really been seen before. And I have to admit that was really more of an accident. I was just writing the way I write. I got the right director and the right cast, and the recipe just worked, and I was flattered and thrilled that people seemed to like it. Read More »

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No Retrial For Nicollette Sheridan ‘Desperate Housewives’ Case, Appeals Court Rules

The pending retrial of Nicollette Sheridan’s Desperate Housewives wrongful dismissal case has been put on ice by the California Court of Appeals. In a ruling issued Friday the court said, “it is further ordered that the retrial currently set for September 10 is hereby stayed pending further order of the court.” The appeals court ruling seems to agree with defendant Touchstone Television Productions and ABC Studios that it is not wrongful termination under state law when a contract renewal is not exercised. However, Sheridan’s lawyer Mark Baute points out the court order notes the case can be examined under Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s labor code violations. Baute also says the court wants the wrongful termination claim more fully laid out and he will be filing those briefs soon. “The temporary stay is designed to clarify and resolve those issues before the September trial starts,” says Baute. Adam Levin, ABC’s main lawyer in the case, did not respond to a request for comment. A hearing is set for August 9 for trial Judge Elizabeth Allen White to make her case for a retrial.

Sheridan’s first case against Touchstone, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment and Desperate Housewives’ Executive Producer Marc Cherry ended in a mistrial on March 19 when the jury was deadlocked. Cherry was dismissed as a defendant before the end of the first trial and would not have been a defendant in any retrial. Sheridan has contended that her character was … Read More »

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Lifetime Eyes Marc Cherry’s ABC Dramedy Pilot ‘Devious Maids’

By | Wednesday May 30, 2012 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It is the end of the road for Marc Cherry’s veteran ABC dramedy Desperate Housewives, which ended its eight-season run this month, but it ain’t over yet for Cherry’s latest project, the Desperate Housewives-esque Devious Maids. Lifetime is looking at the pilot, which missed the cut at ABC, and has had conversations with its producer, ABC Studios. While Lifetime appears interested, sources stress that the talks are preliminary. The cable network has been looking at a number of busted broadcast pilots and cancelled series, including CBS’ Unforgettable, but Devious Maids seems to be closer than most to the new, younger and sexier direction Lifetime is taking with series like The Client List. Additionally, like USA Network, which owns off-network rights to Modern Family and is exploring picking up Fox’s comedy pilot Rebounding, executive produced by Modern Family co-creator Levitan, as a companion for it, Lifetime is the off-network home of Cherry’s Desperate Housewives.

Related: USA Network Eyes ‘Rebounding’ As Potential ‘Modern Family’ Companion

Based on the Mexican format, Devious Maids follows four maids (Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes) with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. The project’s cast also includes Susan Lucci, and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is among its executive producer.

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UPDATE: New ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial Set For Sept. 10

By | Wednesday April 18, 2012 @ 9:51am PDT

Desperate Housewives TrialUPDATED, 9:55 AM: Disney/ABC just objected in court to the judge’s start date for the retrial, so the start has been shifted to September 10. The trial is scheduled to run through September 25, and a status conference has been set for September 5. White also rejected today the defense’s motion to dismiss the case, and also rejected a plaintiff’s request for financial sanctions.

PREVIOUS, 9:51 AM: Judge Elizabeth Allen White today set June 4 as the start date of a second trial in Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination suit against ABC Studios and ABC. White said the trial is expected to take 12 days. A mistrial was declared in the first trial March 19 after the 12-person jury told the judge it was deadlocked 8-4. Sheridan has contended that her Desperate Housewives character Edie Britt was suddenly killed off in early 2009 because of complaints she made over an alleged head-hitting incident on the Desperate Housewives set with executive producer and series creator Marc Cherry on September 24, 2008. The three weeks of the first trial saw a parade of former ABC executives, such as former ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson and former ABC Studios boss Mark Pedowitz, and both Sheridan and Cherry, among others, take the stand. Cherry, who was in court throughout much of the first trial, was removed as a defendant midway through the trial when the battery charge against … Read More »

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UPDATE: No Verdict, No Settlement in “Desperate Housewives” Trial Today

By | Friday March 16, 2012 @ 4:20pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

UPDATE 4:50 PM: “The judge asked us to come down and speak to the other side,” defense attorney Adam Levin said outside Judge Bendix’s courtroom, “and we did so and absolutely nothing has changed.” Levin said there is no settlement and the case will return to the jury on Monday. Nicollette Sheridan and her lawyer Mark Baute emerged from the judge’s courtroom. Uncharacteristically, the usually media friendly Baute said “No comment.” A few moments later, outside the courtroom, Baute added, “We believe it is 8 to 4 in our favor.” The holdup, he said is that “the foreman is against us.”

Without a settlement, the case continues Monday with the deadlocked jury.

PREVIOUSLY: The jury said it is “hopelessly deadlocked.” They are split 8-4 and Judge Elizabeth Allen White told them just now to take the weekend to think about it and come back Monday. If they can’t come to a verdict, she told them, she’ll have to declare a mistrial. “I know how frustrating this must be,” Judge White said.

PREVIOUSLY: Nicollette Sheridan and ABC may be trying to settle in the actress’ wrongful termination suit against Desperate Housewives producer Marc Cherry and the network. A source close to the case told Deadline that if the 12-person jury could not come to a verdict by 1:30 this afternoon, lawyers Mark Baute for the plaintiff and Adam Levin for the defense, and their teams, will meet in … Read More »

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‘Desperate Housewives’ Jury Says It’s Having Trouble Reaching Verdict

By | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 4:32pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

The jury in former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination suit announced to the court late Thursday afternoon that it is “having difficulty reaching a verdict.” After its first full day of deliberations, the 12-member jury (9 women, 3 men) came out of the jury room at 4 PM to express its concerns to Judge Elizabeth Allen White and the lawyers for Sheridan and defendants Marc Cherry and ABC. Judge White, visibly surprised by the jury’s return to the courtroom on this matter, advised that they recess slightly early, spend the evening reflecting on the matter and then reconvene tomorrow morning at 10 AM. “I’m sensing some frustration and polarization,” Sheridan’s lawyer Mark Baute said outside the courtroom afterward, “I think the majority of jurors are in Nicollette’s favor but it takes 9 to get to the finish line.” Defense lawyer Adam Levin was unavailable for comment. Because Sheridan’s case is a civil trial, it does not require a unanimous verdict from jurors, but only that 9 jurors agree on the matter before them.

Earlier in the afternoon, the jurors requested some definition from the judge and lawyers for their deliberations. Specifically, the jury wanted a definition of the term “complaint.” After some back and forth between the judge and the lawyers, the jury was brought back into the courtroom. “Although an employee need not formally file a charge in order to qualify as a complaint,” Judge … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial Now In Jury’s Hands

By | Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 3:00pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Desperate Housewives Trial

2ND UPDATE, 3 PM: Closing statements are over and the jury has left the court to begin deliberations. As a civil trial, the 12-person jury — 9 women and 3 men — does not have to be unanimous in its verdict, but at least nine must agree.

Wrapping closing statements earlier in the afternoon, Levin went for ABC’s bottom line in the wrongful termination trial: “The evidence does not show that Ms. Sheridan made a complaint about an unsafe work environment.” During his rebuttal, plaintiff’s attorney Mark Baute went after Marc Cherry, whom he called “vindictive”. He said Cherry “was out of control,” over objections from Levin, adding, “the company,” to protect Cherry and the success of the series, “orchestrated a story.” Sheridan “got retaliated against and clipped.”

UPDATE, 12:27 PM: Defense attorney Adam Levin said during his closing statement that “the decision to kill off Edie was made long before the Sept. 24, 2008 incident”. “Mr. Baute has told you a complicated story of conspiracy,” Levin said, referring to the closing argument by Nicollette Sheridan’s lawyer. “What is the truth is much more simple.”

Calling it “desperate” to allege that “10 good citizens of California” would concoct a fake story to get rid of Sheridan’s character after the actress complained about Marc Cherry allegedly hitting her in the head, Levin took a much more professorial tone that the passionate Baute earlier in the morning. Employing props like on-screen transcripts, a giant timeline board, Post-It notes and Housewives’ writers’ story index cards (like the unfortunately worded “Steve drinks OJ”), Levin attempted to show the jury how the decision was made to kill off Sheridan’s character and how then-ABC Studios president Mark Pedowitz and then-ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson approved the plan four months before the on-set head-hitting altercation. Read More »

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UPDATE: ABC Lawyer Rejects Claim That Network Tried To Delete ‘Desperate Housewives’ Emails

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 3:31pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Desperate Housewives Trial

UPDATE, 3:31 PM: ABC’s VP Litigation Jean Zoeller said on the stand today that she would “absolutely not” tell anyone to delete or erase any correspondence or documents related to Nicollette Sheridan being fired from Desperate Housewives. Zoeller’s testimony came in direct response to potential bombshell testimony earlier today by Michael Reinhart, the Housewives crew member who said he received an email telling him to “possibly” delete any correspondence and documents concerning Sheridan leaving the show. Reinhart said he deleted the email immediately and court officials are examining the hard drive. Read More »

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Battery Charge Against Marc Cherry Dismissed In ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 12:03pm PDT

Marc Cherry Desperate Housewives TrialThe battery portion of Nicollette Sheridan’s lawsuit against Desperate Housewives creator/executive producer Marc Cherry has been dropped, with Cherry’s defense lawyer saying Cherry is ”no longer a defendant in this case.” Judge Elizabeth Allen White today deemed the battery claim did not meet the standards of workman’s compensation statutes that apply to these matters. When court resumes this afternoon, lawyers from both sides are expected to reaffirm the matter with White. “Obviously I am thrilled by the judge’s decision, but I am going to withhold all comment until the case is resolved”, Cherry told Deadline.

Sheridan’s lawyer Mark Baute said outside the courtroom that the dismissal is not a big deal for the actress’ case against ABC Studios and ABC. He said the action allows Sheridan to go to the heart of the matter — the wrongful termination claim. “You hit me, and I complained,” Baute said, “and you fired me because of it.”

Sheridan took the stand briefly before the lunch break to give a concise version of the alleged head-hitting incident between her and Cherry on the Housewives set on September 24, 2008. “He was dismissive and he hit me”, the actress said in a quivering voice.

Related: Insider Testifies He “Was Trying To Get The Truth Out” About ABC’s Plan To Delete Emails

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UPDATE: Steve McPherson Says Plan To Kill Off Nicollette Sheridan’s Character Came Before Slap, Calls Trial “Crazy”

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Desperate Housewives Trial

UPDATE, 2:57 PM: Former ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson told the court this afternoon that he approved the killing off of Nicollette Sheridan’s Edie Britt character in May 2008, months before a head-hitting incident between Sheridan and Cherry on the Desperate Housewives set. He then told Deadline after his brief appearance on the stand that he is surprised the case ever got this far. ”It’s kinda crazy,” McPherson said outside the courtroom. “Both parties are really nice people, and I’m surprised it even made it to trial,” he said. McPherson, who left ABC abruptly in 2010, declined to discuss the Cherry-Sheridan incident but told Deadline it had nothing to do with the actress leaving the series. “We made the decision to get rid of the character six or seven months before anything happened — whatever happened,” he said, echoing his testimony.

On the stand, McPherson confirmed Cherry’s and Pedowitz’s previous testimony that he gave his approval of the decision on May 22, 2008. “I was running the network, they needed my approval to kill of the character”, he told the jury. “I gave my approval.” The alleged Cherry-Sheridan head-slapping incident occurred in September 2008. Under questioning from Cherry defense lawyer Adam Levin, McPherson said he had no emails or memos about the decision because “we wanted to keep it confidential”. He testified that the only people at the meeting in his office that day were himself, Cherry, Pedowitz and Housewives producers Sabrina Wind and Bob Daily. He added that he would have done exactly the same thing in regards to the killing off of any major character on any major network series. “We didn’t want it to get out”, he said. Read More »

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‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial: Nicollette Sheridan Was Kept In Dark About Plan To Kill Off Her Character

By | Thursday March 8, 2012 @ 6:30pm PST

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

UPDATE 6:30 PM: Turns out Teri Hatcher’s Desperate Housewives job was on the chopping block too. George Perkins, the show’s long time line producer, testified this afternoon that Hatcher, the best known of the leads when the series debuted back in 2004, was under consideration to be let go to save money back in 2008. Also under discussion in an effort to cut costs as the series entered its fifth season were James Denton, who has played Hatcher’s love interest on the show from season one, Kyle MacLachlan, who played Marcia Cross’ second husband and Nicollette Sheridan, Perkins said.

Perkins said he was not privy to Cherry’s alleged meetings in May 2008 with then ABC Studios president Pedowitz and then-ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson, expected to testify Friday, about the decision to kill off Sheridan’s character. Perkins, who stressed he was not good with dates and had a bad memory, told the court he first heard of the decision to cut Sheridan in early June or July of 2008 as production on Desperate Housewives fifth season was gearing up. As for the alleged head hitting incident between Cherry and Sheridan on Sept. 24, 2008 that is at the center of the battery case, Perkins’ testimony focused on his efforts to properly manage the fallout from it. Perkins sent an email to ABC Human Resources exec Lynne Volk and the show’s publicists later that day, in which he called what happened a “very minor incident.” Read More »

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‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial: Steve McPherson Set To Take The Stand Friday

By | Wednesday March 7, 2012 @ 4:50pm PST

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Marc Cherry Desperate Housewives TrialUPDATE, 4:45 PM: Here comes the big guy — former ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson is slated to testify in Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination and battery trial on Friday at 1:30 PM. McPherson, who left ABC in 2010, has been cited in testimony by Marc Cherry and former ABC Studios president Mark Pedowitz as having given the network’s permission to kill off Sheridan’s Edie Britt character in May 2008, four months before the Cherry allegedly struck Sheridan in the head during an on-set altercation. Sheridan claims she was eliminated from the show because of that latter incident.

Testimony today saw several witnesses take the stand out of order due to scheduling issues, and saw Cherry’s ongoing testimony pause yet again to accommodate those changes. Sabrina Wind, a Desperate Housewives producer and Cherry’s self-described “right-hand gal,” took the stand this afternoon and contradicted several statements her boss made during his testimony. Wind, visibly nervous, said she could not recall getting a call from Cherry shortly after the alleged head-hitting incident between him and Sheridan on September 24, 2008. Sheridan’s lawyer Mark Baute then read from Wind’s deposition last year, in which she said she “did not” receive a call from Cherry as he previously testified. Wind, in another contradiction to Cherry’s testimony, also said she did not keep the producer up to date on a human resources investigation into the alleged incident. Wind, who is Cherry’s partner in Cherry/Wind Productions, also said she knew of no discussions about financial savings or “unprofessional behavior” on Sheridan’s part as reasons for killing off the actress’ character. Read More »

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UPDATE: Mark Pedowitz Takes Stand In ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial

By | Tuesday March 6, 2012 @ 4:00pm PST

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Desperate Housewives TrialUPDATE, 4 PM: Mark Pedowitz says Marc Cherry never discussed financial ramifications or Nicollette Sheridan’s alleged “unprofessional behavior” when the Desperate Housewives executive producer asked the then-ABC Studios president for permission to kill off the Edie Britt character in May 2008.

Contradicting testimony from Cherry that money and Sheridan’s professionalism were reasons for getting rid of the Britt character, Pedowitz did confirm today that he gave Cherry studio permission in a small meeting on May 22, 2008, to get rid of the character. “They were seeking permission from the studio to kill off the character,” Pedowitz said. Pedowitz, who left ABC Studios in January 2009, said Cherry told him the character was to be killed off because “there were no more stories to tell.” Later, Pedowitz told the jury, under questioning from defense attorney Adam Levin, that he had rejected an earlier attempt by Cherry to kill off the Britt character in season 3 of the series but he approved killing her off in season 5 because “the character in my mind had run its course.”

Pedowitz also testified this afternoon that in a later meeting that same day, then-ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson “blessed” the decision to kill off the Britt character. Pedowitz said that in the meeting with McPherson, Cherry and others, there were “ongoing conversations” about if the Britt character was to leave the series, “sooner or later.” Pedowitz said that both he and McPherson wanted it to happen “later, “preferably in May,” around the time of the season finale. Read More »

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