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Judge Orders New Trial For Nicollette Sheridan In ‘Desperate Housewives’ Case

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 10:15am PST

DesperateHousewives__120315233223__131018171710Nearly two years after her first Desperate Housewives trial ended with a deadlocked jury, Nicollette Sheridan is finally getting another legal life. LA Superior Court Judge Michael Stern has overturned his earlier ruling and granted the actress a new trial in her case against ABC/Touchstone TV for being suddenly let go from the now shuttered Housewives back in 2009. In October, Stern denied Sheridan’s request for a new trial, saying she failed to present her grievances to the state Labor Commission within six months of the alleged 2008 incident in which Sheridan claims show executive producer/creator Marc Cherry struck her on set. Stern said at the time that an appellate court ruling handed down in August clarified the law and made him rethink the issues and throw the case out. However, the law on which Touchstone lawyers largely relied was later decertified by the state Supreme Court. Earlier this month, Stern denied Sheridan’s separate for a new trial that was largely based on the same arguments. 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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‘Scandal’s Scott Foley Sets Directorial Debut; Donald Faison & Nicollette Sheridan Star

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 4:00pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: It’s a family affair. Scott Foley and brother-in-law Patrick Wilson are teaming up to produce Ward’s Wife starring former Scrubs star Donald Faison. The Scandal and The Goodwin Games actor’s feature directorial debut will also be produced by Mob Doctor actor James Carpinello, and Marcus Chait for their and Wilson’s Lost Rhino banner. Joe Hardesty is also a producer on Ward’s Wife. As the title suggests, the dark comedy focuses on Ward (Faison) a man who has just had enough of being emotionally and verbally beaten down by his spouse and decides to kill her to free himself. Written by the Felicity alum, Ward’s Wife also stars Foley’s real life sister-in-law and Wilson’s spouse Dagmara Dominczyk as Ward’s wife. Nicollette Sheridan will also be appearing in Ward’s Wife. This is Sheridan’s first film role since her wrongful termination suit against ABC and Desperate Housewives ended in a mistrial on March 2012. Foley, Insidious’ Wilson, Carpinello as well as Marika Dominczyk, Amy Acker and Greg Grunberg are also in the film. Ward’s Wife is scheduled to begin production in LA later this month. Starring in the upcoming Kick-Ass 2, Faison is repped by APA and Intellectual Artists. Carpinello is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment. Wilson is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Foley, who appeared in a major role in the last half of Scandal this season, is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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Nicollette Sheridan Gets New ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 11:22am PDT

Over a year after Nicollette Sheridan saw her wrongful termination suit against Desperate Housewives ended in a mistrial, the actress today got a new trial date. Sheridan and defendants Touchstone Television will be back in court on December 2, LA Superior Court judge Michael Stern ruled today. Stern’s ruling came after denying a motion by the defendants to have the case dismissed. Sheridan’s lawyers filed an amended complaint for their client under a section of the California Labor Code that is designed to protect employees from losing their jobs if they make a complaint about workplace safety. This amended complaint follows a three-judge appeals court panel ruling last August that Sheridan could pursue claims that she was retaliated against after complaining that creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument in September 2008. The lawsuit over Sheridan’s original claims that her Housewives character Edie Britt was suddenly killed off in early 2009 and she was wrongfully fired from her starring role on the ABC drama resulted in a deadlocked jury on March 19th of last year. That trial saw ABC executives past and present as well as Sheridan and Cherry among others take the stand. Cherry and ABC always insisted the departure of the character and the actress had been decided months before the hitting incident, which the producer has … Read More »

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Nicollette Sheridan’s ‘Housewives’ Appeal Denied By State Supreme Court

By | Saturday November 17, 2012 @ 12:51pm PST

The California Supreme Court turned down the appeal of former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan on Friday. In a brief ruling by Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye the court “denied” Sheridan’s latest appeal in her legal battle against ABC and Touchstone Television. The ruling represents yet another defeat for the actress in her wrongful termination case. In September, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal denied Sheridan’s petition for a rehearing of the suit. A month earlier another appeals court panel rejected Sheridan’s claim of being wrongfully fired from the ABC show back in early 2009. The jurists in that ruling left open the possibility for Sheridan to pursue claims that she was retaliated against after complaining that Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument. The lawsuit over Sheridan’s original claims ended in a mistrial March 19th of this year. Neither lawyers for Sheridan nor ABC responded to requests for comment today.

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Nicollette Sheridan Denied Request For ‘Housewives’ Rehearing

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 3:21pm PDT

Doesn’t look like Nicollette Sheridan is going back to court to take on ABC again anytime soon. In a curt one-page ruling dated September 7, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal issued an order denying the former Desperate Housewives star’s petition for a rehearing of her wrongful termination suit against ABC and Touchstone Television. This comes almost a month after a three-judge appeals court panel rejected Sheridan’s claim of being wrongfully fired from the ABC show back in early 2009. That decision made last week’s order almost a given. However, all is likely not over for Sheridan and ABC. The judges in August said that the actress could continue with an amended claim that she was retaliated against after complaining that Housewives executive producer and creator Marc Cherry hit her in the head during a September 2008 argument on-set. In that case, Sheridan’s damages would be limited to loss of wages and benefits, a far cry from the $20 million suit she originally filed in April 2010. Read More »

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Court Denies Nicollette Sheridan Termination Claim, But She Can Pursue Claims Of Retaliation

By | Thursday August 16, 2012 @ 2:24pm PDT

A three-judge appeals court panel returned the ruling today, agreeing with attorneys for ABC and Touchstone Television that Nicollette Sheridan was not wrongfully fired. But the jurists said Sheridan should be allowed to pursue claims that she was retaliated against after complaining that Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument. Sheridan’s initial case was declared a mistrial on March 19. Adam Levin, who represents ABC and Touchstone Television, praised the ruling. “The Court of Appeal correctly found that Ms. Sheridan was not terminated. Instead, her employment ended because Touchstone elected not to renew her contract after her character, Edie Britt, died on the show. Her last remaining claim for wrongful termination is gone, and while she may seek to add an OSHA claim, we believe we will prevail on that claim as well,” he said in a statement.

But Sheridan’s attorney Marc Baute is not giving up: “We will prosecute Touchstone to the fullest extent of the law under Labor Code Section 6310,” Baute said in a statement. Sheridan claimed in her initial lawsuit that her Housewives character Edie Britt was suddenly killed off in early 2009 and that she was fired from the show because of complaints the actress made over an alleged head-hitting incident on the series’ set with executive producer and series creator Marc Cherry on September 24, 2008.

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No Decision On Nicollette Sheridan’s Retrial Request After Hearing

By | Thursday August 9, 2012 @ 11:23am PDT

A retrial of Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination suit against ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment  is not going to happen – yet.

At a hearing today, a three-judge Court of Appeal panel consisting of Norman Epstein, Thomas Willhite Jr and Nora Manella heard arguments from Sheridan’s and ABC’s lawyers. At the end of the arguments the judges said that they will take the matter of a retrial and the submitted briefs from the lawyers under consideration. A decision could take up to three months or more, rendering the previously set Sept. 10 start date for a retrial void.

Since the end of the original trial, ABC has argued for a dismissal of the case, insisting that Sheridan was not wrongfully terminated from Desperate Housewives. “All of the evidence shows that Ms. Sheridan was not terminated but her employment came to a natural end when her contract was not renewed,” defense lawyer Adam Levin of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, representing ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment, said today.

Sheridan was in court, accompanied by one of her lawyers, Mark Baute of Baute Crochetiere & Maloney. Judges Willhite and Manella repeatedly queried Baute about his client’s notion of termination. “Is it a termination when a contract is not renewed,” Manella asked. Baute responded by reiterating the alleged on-set head-hitting incident between Sheridan and Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry as the basis for what he called “Sheridan’s retaliatory firing for complaining about the incident.” 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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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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‘Desperate Housewives’ Case Update: Nicollette Sheridan Lawyers Fight For Retrial

By | Wednesday April 4, 2012 @ 3:02pm PDT

Lawyers seeking a retrial for Nicollette Sheridan in her Desperate Housewives wrongful termination suit this week fired back against ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television for asking Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White to grant a verdict in ABC’s favor and dismissal of the actress’ claim for punitive damages instead of a retrial. The case ended in a mistrial last month when jurors deadlocked 8-4 in favor of Sheridan. In court papers filed this week, Sheridan’s lawyers contend Sheridan deserves a retrial and that her claim for damages is valid. Sheridan claimed in her lawsuit that her character was killed off in retaliation for her complaining that show creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during production. Judge White threw out the battery claim against Cherry. Sheridan and her attorneys maintain that she was written out of the series after an internal investigation by the production company cleared Cherry of wrongdoing. “The record establishes a conscious disregard for Sheridan and reveals that Cherry and Touchstone sought to penalize her and deprive her of significant income because she had the audacity to complain about being struck by her boss while at work,” Sheridan’s court papers state. ABC contends that the record supports the network’s claim that the decision to kill off Sheridan’s character was made because the producers decided that “the character had run its creative course.” A hearing on the ABC Entertainment motion is scheduled April 13.

Related: … 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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UPDATE: Mystery ‘Desperate Housewives’ Insider Identified; Defense Attorney Calls Revelation “Last-Ditch Effort”

By | Monday March 12, 2012 @ 4:30pm PDT

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

Desperate Housewives Trial3RD UPDATE, 4:30 PM: Michael Reinhart, credited as a construction coordinator on Desperate Housewives, has been identified as the caller who told Nicollette Sheridan’s lawyer that ABC planned to delete all emails related to Sheridan’s departure after she had filed her original lawsuit. Although IMDb lists him working on Housewives only in 2011, a source with knowledge of Reinhart’s employment history says, “The guy has been on the show since the pilot.” Attempts to contact Reinhart were unsuccessful, so Judge Elizabeth Allen White instructed her clerk to try to reach him directly at the end of the day today in hopes of having him appear in court tomorrow. They want him for what is known as a 402 hearing — it does not require a seated jury to be present — to determine whether he has information that is relevant. This afternoon, during jury instruction, Reinhart’s name was mentioned in court and defense lawyer Adam Levin “objected to Mr Reinhart taking the stand.” Later, Levin told Deadline: ”These mystery emails appear to be a last-ditch effort by the plaintiff to save her case — I want to see the emails”.

2ND UPDATE, 12:27 PM: Here is the official transcript of the voicemail (listen to the audio here) from the Desperate Housewives employee who called Nicollette Sheridan’s lawyer Mark Baute on Sunday afternoon:

Hi Mark. I’m an employee of Desperate Housewives. I received an email soon after Nicollette filed suit; I think it was meant for a much narrower distribution, but it regarded having IT come in and wipe clean the hard drives of the producers in response to the correspondence that they’ve had e-mail wise about firing Nicollette. Um, I think I got it by mistake; I believe they were going to have the Disney IT person come in to do the sweeping of the hard drive .. that’s about all I know; you obviously can check this number and figure out who I am but I really don’t want to get involved. I’m a real low level employee there and I shouldn’t have got that e-mail, I’m on the general email list. but there was definitely a conspiracy to cover up the correspondence on email wise in regards to Nicollette. See ya.

March 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm
8 year full time employee of Touchstone – Desperate Housewives

Nicollette Sheridan Desperate HousewivesUPDATE, 11 AM: Baute said the revelation that ABC attempted to have emails erased from Housewives‘ employees’ hard drives is legitimate. “I spoke to the guy for 45 minutes yesterday on the phone,” Baute told Deadline this morning, “and in my opinion this is for real”. The attorney said he received the voicemail in his office yesterday afternoon and expects that the employee in question will testify tomorrow morning. The plaintiffs rested their case this morning, and the defense has been bringing in a series of witnesses this morning. The jury is expected to receive instructions from the judge this afternoon for deliberations later this week.

PREVIOUS, 9:57 AM: Nicollette Sheridan’s lawyers dropped a bombshell in court this morning during Sheridan’s wrongful termination and battery trial. Mark Baute and Patrick Maloney played a voicemail from a “low-level” Desperate Housewives employee who said he was mistakenly included on an email that indicated ABC intended to use its IT department to wipe everyone’s hard drives of all communications in regard to the killing off of Sheridan’s Edie Britt character. The email was distributed to the series’ senior producers shortly after the actress first filed her suit on April 5, 2010. The staffer stated that there was “definitely a conspiracy to cover up correspondence.” Read More »

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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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