ABC has granted early renewals to six scripted for the 2011-12 television season, the network announced Monday during their executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif.
One popular ABC series missing from the list of pick ups? “Desperate Housewives.”
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee briefly addressed the subject in his press conference with reporters.
“‘Desperate Housewives’ is doing a great job. We have ambitions to pick it up. We’re not quite there,” Lee said.
As for ABC’s other Sunday night drama, “Brothers & Sisters,” which is also a notable omission from the renewal announcement, Lee made this statement: “‘Brother & Sisters’ has great numbers this year. We have not made decisions on them yet. We’ll see as we go forward.”
“Desperate Housewives” is currently in its seventh season. In 2008, series creator Marc Cherry told reporters that he planned to end the series after Season 7, but he later signed a two-year extension that would have the series go through 2013. Now that he has another pilot in contention for pick-up, there’s word that Cherry is considering stepping down as “Housewives” main showrunner in order to focus on his new series.
Complicating matters, the majority of the main “Desperate” cast members have contracts that end at the completion of this season. Therefore, the network is likely keeping mum on the show’s status while they work through contract negotiations to bring some, or all, of the actresses back for more. It’s also worth mentioning that while “Housewives” is still a top 10 show, the dramedy has seen a 20% decline in ratings from its previous season.
The new network boss also said he was “very proud” of “Detroit 1 8 7,” ABC’s midseason cop drama, calling it a “very, very high quality show,” and also offered praise for the successful Monday night romp “Castle.”
“‘Castle’ really showed its mettle this year,” Lee said. “I mean, there’s a show that I think hits the target of our brand inasmuch as it’s a really well made show, but it’s fun and it’s entertaining, it’s aspirational, it’s bright. And we have a really powerful procedural there.”
“The ABC brand really combines smart with heart,” Lee summed up the state of the network. “That is a really unusual combination. We don’t always live up to it but at its very best, we make culturally defining, big tent television. That’s how I see this network going forward into the future.”
Are you glad your favorite shows are back? Would you be crushed if “Desperate Housewives” or “Brothers & Sisters” didn’t return?