Exclusive

Desperate Housewives Exclusive: The Ladies Are Staying — But For How Long?!

After months of negotiations, the four stars of ABC’s Desperate Housewives — Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria — are finalizing eight-figure deals to stay put on Wisteria Lane.

The new pacts, which are for one year with an option for a second, pave the way for ABC to renew the show for an eighth season — though it is unclear if that will happen right away or closer to the May upfronts.

The quartet’s new base salary would be around $325,000 per episode, up from the $275,000 they had been earning. With additional compensation factored in, including back-end and bonuses, the actresses’ paychecks are expected to soar to $375,000 per episode. If their option for Season 9 is exercised, their base salary is slated to go up to $350,000. All told, the two-year deal could net the ladies as much as $18 million apiece.

Like in previous salary renegotiations, Hatcher brokered her deal separately from Huffman, Cross and Longoria. Additionally, slowing the final stretch of the marathon talks was the fact that Cross hired a new attorney about a week ago. But I hear things are now down to the signature stage, with the deals expected to close as early as today.

With Hatcher, Huffman, Longoria and Cross on board — and with Vanessa Williams slated to return as well — the only question remaining is the extent of creator/executive producer Marc Cherry’s involvement. Fellow EP Bob Daily has taken over day-to-day duties on DH while Cherry works on his new ABC pilot Hallelujah. If the show lands on the network’s fall schedule, Daily would likely take over as primary showrunner.

Despite slipping in the ratings from its heyday, DH, along with Grey’s Anatomy, continue to be ABC’s strongest hourlong scripted series. Housewives‘ off-network syndication sale netted a so-so $500,000 per episode from Lifetime, but the show continues to be a hit internationally. With an eighth-season pickup, the series would to join eight other ABC series already renewed for next season: Modern Family, The Middle, Cougar Town, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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33 Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    Great news, hopefully ABC will treat it better next Spring.

  2. DK says:

    This show jumped the shark last year. All they do is rehash old storylines and characters. There is nothing compelling about the show anymore. Unless it’s infused with some new ideas, this show will not make it to an 8th year.

  3. Peter says:

    Damn. That’s a lot of money for a declining show…

    Felicity Huffman is looking fierce! Love her.

  4. James Young says:

    $18 million over 2 years? And people were complaining about Charlie Sheen’s wages a few weeks ago…

    • Kevin says:

      Charlie Sheen was getting nearly $2 million per episode, which would have worked out at nearly $80 million over 2 years!!

    • kms says:

      Charlie Sheen got $2 million per episode. They are getting $18 million over the course of their contract. Both very large sums but drastically different

  5. Lauren says:

    Are these people curing cancer? Why are they getting paid so much for a substandard TV show?

  6. XOXO says:

    all the actors who turned down the offer to star on this show 7 years ago must be crying right now… *cough*Heather Locklear*cough*

  7. april-ann says:

    That does seem high for a show that probably should have ended already and is not performing well in syndication (for a show that is still on the air). I liked Nicolette as Edie and have not watched since she was written out. The others had become parodies of themselves.

  8. dave says:

    The show is not as strong as it was 7 years ago, but it’s still must-see tv and better than most of the scripted shows on any network. These women deserve every damn dime.

  9. Jared says:

    Great news! Much deserved for the ‘Housewives’! And I am really excited to see Vanessa should be returning.

  10. Kingdom says:

    Ug, really this show is more proof that sometimes 7 years is just long enough. Time to put a fork in it.

    As for the Charlie Sheen comparison, what are you smoking? I don’t think $350k compares very well to $3 million an episode. In other words what they do in an entire season of 20 or so episodes, Sheen got in just 6.

    I do agree it is moronically high for both parties and ignores the efforts of those that put words in their mouths, make them look good and so forth but still the comparison is a false one. To make that kind of comparison is just silly and accomplishes nothing except confuse those that have no knowledge of the specific numbers.

  11. em says:

    Why does Teri Hatcher broker her deal separately? She sucks!

    • Blue says:

      She was the big name when the show started. Therefore, she initially got top billing and more money. She probably still expects to receive a higher salary and more of the backend than the other ladies. So, she has to negotiate seperately.

  12. sashay says:

    I’m hoping that the writing substantially improves with Marc Cherry leaving the showrunner position. The writing is terrible, it just gets worse and worse every year. Such a waste of talented actors!
    On a completely shallow note, that is an incredibly Photoshopped photo. Felicity Huffman especially, is unrecognizable.
    Can think of about 10 other cancelled shows that I would rather see renewed than this one. Oh well. Keeps a large ensemble of actors gainfully employed, not to mention the expensive looking props. I hope it allows them to perform in more satisfying work, since this crap pretty much subsidizes it.

  13. sashayG says:

    I’m hoping that the writing substantially improves with Marc Cherry leaving the showrunner position. The writing is terrible, it just gets worse and worse every year. Such a waste of talented actors!
    On a completely shallow note, that is an incredibly Photoshopped photo. Felicity Huffman especially, is unrecognizable.
    Can think of about 10 other cancelled shows that I would rather see renewed than this one. Oh well. Keeps a large ensemble of actors gainfully employed, not to mention the expensive looking props. I hope it allows them to perform in more satisfying work, since this crap pretty much subsidizes it.
    (Second try @ posting. Hope it doesn’t double post).

  14. CnSF says:

    What about Brothers & Sisters? I’m really worried about the show this year. If anything I just hope ABC gives them the heads up so we get a proper finale either this year or next.

  15. hiro says:

    i’m happy mark cherry is going to take a step down, he’s been mistreating this show for a couple of seasons now. though i’ll watch it till the end, the housewives need a breath of fresh air.

  16. ASDas says:

    I dont want to be mean but this is like anlmost the same article on Deadline/ Like almost word for word!!

  17. Tasha says:

    I’m glad they’re sticking around. I still watch it every week, and enjoy that hour.

  18. RecceR says:

    Anyone remember when Marc Cherry announced season 7 would be it back during season 3 or 4? I wish they would have stuck to it, because he’s leaving now and the writing has already been shaky. It’s slowly becoming like a serial soap opera with the outrageous storylines, like the switched at birth one and the whole Renee and Tom thing. Not to mention bringing on celebrities to just get ratings, Vanessa Williams, what a waste of great potential. Congrats to the ladies for the huge pay raise, but I hope next season is it. Give it a proper goodbye and move on.

  19. Dhfansometimes says:

    Very disappointing news. With the Paul storyline ending this year, it would have brought the show full circle to where it started…I just don’t know how it can possibly be interesting anymore. The show isn’t worth that much money. What do they think they’re doing here? It’s jumped the shark, was eaten by the shark, and it’s dying a slow and painful death. At the very least they should be spending more money to hire new writers!!

  20. Ingmar says:

    Awesome news! Now just wait for an official word for renewal!

  21. miles silverberg says:

    Good news. Sure, the show isn’t as consistent as in the early years, but it’s still a must-see for me. I wouldn’t mind some more returning characters, like Paul, Zach and Felicia this season. There have been so many great guest stars over the years that could brighten things up: Carol Burnett as Bree’s stepmother, Paul Dooley as Susan’s birth father, Sharon Lawrence as Maisy Gibbons, Alec Mapa as Susan’s modeling school cohort Vern, Lee Tergesen as Bree’s old sex-addict AA sponsor, plus Lynette’s two sisters. And of course, Polly Bergen, Leslie Ann Warren and Lily Tomlin! And hello, Danielle and Julie?

  22. Bob says:

    OK, who’s the person on the far right in the picture? Cause that sure isn’t Felicity Huffman. Not without severe makeup, airbrushing, body double???

  23. Cookie says:

    We still watch and enjoy the show. Haven’t liked all of the story lines, Eva’s “thing” about that doll in particular, but it remains a favorite among in our group of friends. It would be a shame to cancel it.
    It would be nice if they fleshed out some of their story lines rather than trying to wrap everything up in an episode or two, for example, how Bree dealt with the loss of her latest love, how Mike dealt with his wife’s video porn job, the repercussions after Larry Hagman’s death and Felicity’s mother.

  24. Grego says:

    …..I think the title says it all: “DESPARATE”…DESPARATE are the story lines….DESPARATE are the attempts at acting…the show is DESPARATELY sinking…when it first appeared, I was all over into it…now, there are so many story lines leading to nowhere, scenes popping outta nowhere, makes me think I have missed episodes and haven’t. C’mon ABC, spice it up as it used to be! Make Gabby the dominant diva she deserves to be, drive a stake thru Bree’s “creepy” character (Marcia Cross looks creepy, she should have been in monster flicks)make Lynette stop being such a wimp, and PLEASE stabilize Vanessa William’s character….they are jumping back and forth with Vanessa…one minute a vixen..the next Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm…give us a break…please!

    • Grogo says:

      …..I think the title says it all: “DESPERATE”…DESPERATE are the story lines….DESPERATE are the attempts at acting…the show is DESPERATELY sinking…when it first appeared, I was all over into it…now, there are so many story lines leading to nowhere, scenes popping outta nowhere, makes me think I have missed episodes and haven’t. C’mon ABC, spice it up as it used to be! Make Gabby the dominant diva she deserves to be, drive a stake thru Bree’s “creepy” character (Marcia Cross looks creepy, she should have been in monster flicks)make Lynette stop being such a wimp, and PLEASE stabilize Vanessa William’s character….they are jumping back and forth with Vanessa…one minute a vixen..the next Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm…give us a break…please!

      (oops I re-sent my post, didn’t use spell checker, I was so busy flying with the keys that I wasn’t paying attention to spelling)

  25. T says:

    TV Guide said they were making $400,000 a show last year. Why would they be making less this year????

  26. Rebecca says:

    Love the show glass its coming back..can’t please everyone!!

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