In her return to television, Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross is taking a comedy route, signing on for the lead female role in Fox‘s single-camera comedy pilot Fatrick. The project, written by Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 creator/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan and co-exec producer Corey Nickerson and to be directed by Oscar-winning scribes Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, centers on Patrick, a 30-something moving man and former fat kid, who, realizing that his life isn’t quite where it should be, is forced to face the damage caused by years of being “Fatrick”: a chubby little kid just trying to survive. It will be shifting between the present and Patrick’s school years. Cross will play Patrick’s mother Arlene, seen in both present day and flashback. A fit, energetic nutritionist, she is rigid and intense when it comes to her family’s eating habits. Cross joins recently cast Ray Ford. This marks the biggest half-hour commitment for Cross, who had largely done drama series before her turn in the comedic one-hour Desperate Housewives. She took a break after the end of the ABC series to spend time with her twin girls, born while Cross was on the show, and is now making her return to TV. She is with Gersh and Gartner/Green Entertainment.
It was a mob scene at ABC’s TCA party tonight where reporters swarmed several Desperate Housewives stars who made their first public appearance following ABC’s official announcement this morning that the upcoming eighth season of the veteran dramedy will be its last. Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, James Denton and Brenda Strong were on hand to patiently answer questions about the Marc Cherry-created series coming to an end and reflect on the past seven years. “I think Marc is right; this is the time; this is the moment,” said Cross who got the news from her manager, calling it “bittersweet.” Her wish for the final season is to have all of Brie’s former flames return for a visit. “I want to see my fellows again’ I had the best male co-stars; I want to see them back,” she said. Huffman was in high spirits, almost giddy when she talked about Desperate Housewives but admitted that that was not her original reaction when she found out about the end of the show in an email she received from Cross. “I wasn’t exactly shocked but you always hope for the best, so I was really sad,” she said. She said she understands Cherry’s desire to wrap up the series by revisiting the Mary Alice mystery that started it all but was also warned of the dangers of going back to a storyline that has already been resolved once. “It will have to be a new well, you can’t go back to the same well twice,” she said, later adding, “You don’t want to jump the shark in your final season.”
EXCLUSIVE: It’s a sad day for the smart and sassy suburban women on Wisteria Lane and the worldwide audience of approximately 120 million who watch them. We’ve just learned that ABC will announce on Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s press tour that this 2011-2012 season will be the last for long-running Desperate Housewives. Key castmembers are starting to be told, and we hear that Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Eva Longoria are shocked and saddened since the ABC Studios series created by Marc Cherry was expected to continue until 2013 after the longtime showrunner had said that he wanted the show to go for 9 seasons. ABC also contracted with the show’s four stars for the next season after lengthy salary negotiations with the quartet this past season. In addition to signing them for this coming season, ABC also got options on them for Season 9. But when this season’s premiere episode is broadcast on Sunday, September 25th, it will be the first for the series without Cherry at the helm. He stepped down at the end of last season as executive producer/showrunner and is expected to be a consultant on Season 8 while focusing on development of other series. Cherry also was slapped by former castmate Nicolette Sheridan with an embarrassing lawsuit over a purported slap which is still winding its way through the Los Angeles courts. Her claims …
EXCLUSIVE: After months of negotiations, I hear the four stars of ABC’s Desperate Housewives– Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria — are finalizing deals to return to the dramedy series next fall. The deals are for one year, with an option for a second. With the quartet on board, ABC will renew the show for an eighth season, though it is unclear whether that will happen right away or closer to the May upfronts.
As for Hatcher, Huffman, Cross and Longoria, I hear their new base salary would be around $325,000 per episode, up from about $275,000 under their most recent deals. (Reports have erroneously pegged their previous salaries at $400,000.) With additional compensation, including back-end and bonuses, the actresses’ paychecks are expected to go up as high as $375,000 per episode. If their options for Season 9 are exercised, their base salary is slated to go up to around $350,000, plus other incentives. If Desperate Housewives goes to nine seasons, which has been creator Marc Cherry’s vision for the show, the four leading ladies’ entire compensation package for the next two seasons is valued at close to $18 million for each.