LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "I just wanted to make sure this show that sort of put this network on the map - certainly the new brand of this network for the last six or seven years - had its victory lap," ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee told reporters about the upcoming final season of "Desperate Housewives" at the TCA Summer Press Tour.
Lee - and creator Marc Cherry - were on hand at the network's executive session to talk about said swan song and in the former's case, what else is in store from the Alphabet this season.
"I'm [aware] of people overstaying their welcome," Cherry said about the decision. "I just didn't want that to happen to 'Desperate Housewives.' I wanted to go out while the network still saw us as a viable show, while we were still doing well in the ratings... I wanted to go out in kind of the classiest way possible."
Cherry added that despite earlier talk of going nine seasons, he won't be trucating anything ("If we were to do a ninth, I have no idea what that was going to be."), nor are any spin-offs currently planned ("I just want to put you in van and have you solve mysteries," he said he joked with Eva Longoria).
As for specifics about the final season, Cherry hinted we may not have seen the last of Nicollette Sheridan's Edie. "I don't know how I would do that but I have an idea for the last episode in which I want to [pay] homage to everyone that's been there before, you know, who's been on the show, so we'll see what happens with that."
In other topics:
-- "We've got this really cool storyline with a Marvel character that appears in 'Castle' this year," Lee said when asked about the network's current plans with Marvel. "There's one episode, I'm probably giving away secrets I shouldn't... with a Marvel superhero character." As for "The Incredible Hulk" and "AKA Jessica Jones," Lee notes "hopefully we'll have two very good choices to look at when we come around into the pilot season next year." He added that, "If we got the Hulk, my kids would finally be proud of me."
-- Lee revealed that he believes ABC will air three "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movies this season.
-- When asked what exactly will air on Friday nights at 9:00/8:00c this fall, Lee would only affirm that "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will air on the night with some editions being two-hour specials.
-- "The timing is an issue but I have to say it's a really good series and I would not be anything but happy to see it in the [regular] season, absolutely," Lee said about its summer drama "Rookie Blue." He went on to add no decision has been made about the future of "Combat Hospital."
-- "I love that idea and we have started to redevelop it," Lee said about the Cherry-created pilot "Hallelujah." Cherry would later add that, "We did a pilot and half of it was terrific and half of it wasn't. And I said to Paul... 'This is so complex what I'm trying to do here, give me the time [to do it right].'"
-- "'Pan Am' when you watch it is a much broader, brighter canvass," Lee said with regards to the obvious "Mad Men" comparisons. "It's going to attract a broader and a brighter audience. Not that 'Mad Men' isn't a wonderful show, it's a glorious [show] for AMC."
-- "Seriously? Come on Paul," a reporter quipped to Lee about "Work It." "Sometimes you pick up a pilot because it makes you cackle with laughter so I make absolutely no excuses for that show. It makes me laugh," Lee responded. "We didn't think this room would like it and there's some pleasure in that."