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ABC confirms the end of 'Desperate Housewives'

Danny Feld / ABC

ABC confirmed Sunday that the long-running hit “Desperate Housewives” is ending after the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

"It is an iconic show, we are so proud of it," said Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday morning. "I just wanted to make sure this show ... had its victory lap, had a chance to really set out every episode and build an arc for 22 episodes so we can say goodbye."

"Housewives" creator Marc Cherry was also on hand to discuss the end of the drama. "(Wrapping up the show is) something that’s weighed on my mind for quite a while now," Cherry said. "I’ve been working in television for 23 years. I'm very aware of people overstaying their welcome. ... I just didn’t want that to happen to 'Desperate Housewives.'"

In a news release, the network said that the eighth and final season will kick off in a way that will allow even fans who may have tuned out the show to jump back in.

Cherry elaborated on the final season a bit, saying that season eight's mystery will harken "back to the first season. We’re going back to the roots of Mary Alice." The character of Mary Alice Young (played by Brenda Strong) committed suicide in season one, and she serves as the narrator of the series.

When asked if Nicollette Sheridan's character, Edie Britt, would return for the final season, Cherry hinted that it may happen. "I don’t know how I’m going to (bring Edie back), but I have an idea for the last episode in which I want to pay homage to everyone who’s been on the show," Cherry said. Sheridan sued Cherry and ABC for wrongful termination and breach of contract after her character was killed off in season five. She also claimed that Cherry hit her.

Cherry also put to rest ideas that there could be a "Desperate Housewives" spin-off.

"The truth is, I sort of thought about that a little bit because it’s one of the expected things you do," Cherry said. "But for me artistically, I don’t want to repeat stuff that I’ve done. ... That’s probably why I won’t be doing a spin-off. I’m really trying to broaden and deepen and challenge myself."

"Desperate Housewives" premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

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