While approaching that itchy seven year anniversary bodes trouble for even the most happily married couples, the seventh year is also a vulnerable time for hit TV shows, such as Desperate Housewives. It is natural for long-time viewers to become bored with a show’s characters and irritated by their quirks, while craving something new and exciting. Although new cast members have rotated through Desperate Housewives since its second season, new additions to the cast in season 7 could determine if the Sunday night staple will return for season eight – or head to divorce court.
The Nielsen prime-time TV Ratings survey reported in zap2it.com reveals Desperate Housewives managed to snag the #10 ratings slot for the 2009-10 TV season, barely squeaking past #11, NCIS: Los Angeles. But fiercer competition for viewers could overwhelm Desperate Housewives this year, with an unusually high number of tantalizing new TV shows set to launch, many of which boast the pedigrees of some of Hollywood’s most talented actors and writers, including Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney and David E. Kelley. Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry went fishing for top talent, too, successfully netting three charismatic actors, Brian Austin Green, Vanessa Williams and Lainie Kazan, popular stars who could prove big enough fish to revive the sleepy show.
How Hunky Handyman Brian Austin Green could help Desperate Housewives in Season 7: Real life Meagan Fox husband Brian Austin Green, formerly of CW’s 90210, could draw female fans hungry for new male eye candy, as well as voyeuristic viewers drawn to cat fights. A classic hunk ala Mike the plumber, Green will capture female viewers who enjoy looking at handsome, cut men wearing tight clothes – in other words, most women – along with gay men. On an emotional and psychological level, Green will be the object of affection in a love (or, more accurately, lust) triangle pitting Martha Stewart clone Bree against Wisteria Lane’s newest resident, Renee (played by Vanessa Williams). Both Bree and Renee will be depicted as television’s favorite new cliché, the cougar, a role-reversal that will appeal to some viewers and annoy others.
How Beautiful Vixen Vanessa Williams could help Desperate Housewives in Season 7: No stranger to controversy, actress and singer Vanessa Williams (most recently cast of ABC’s Ugly Betty) was the first African American to be crowned Miss American, only to resign before her term ended after nude photos of Williams taken before she won her pageant title were printed in Penthouse magazine. Still beautiful at 47, Williams is cast in season 7 as a sly, foxy neighbor, a role that had been one of the show’s key archetypes before realtor Edie Britt (played by Nicolette Sheridan) met her untimely death in season 5. Sheridan’s departure left a gaping hole in the show since even the greedy Gabby was nicened up a bit after she became a mommy. Williams could draw female viewers who need a woman they love to hate – beside their mother-in-law.
How Golden Oldie Lainie Kazan could help Desperate Housewives in Season 7: Lainie Kazan, who played the mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, may be a spring chicken compared to 88-year-old media darling Betty White, but she still qualifies for senior citizen discounts at the Hometown Buffet. The 70-year-old Kazan will play a business owner and new neighbor of former Wisteria Lane resident Susan Mayer (the addle-brained wife of Mike the plumber), who is temporarily exiled from the seemingly cursed street due to financial problems. The mature Kazan could attract more literate viewers of all ages who appreciate seasoned, nuanced actors, recalling a time when being on TV required more skill than squeezing into a size 0 dress.