'Desperate Housewives' Soldiers on Despite Rumors of Teri Hatcher's Departure

Seven seasons in, ABC's Desperate Housewives is chugging along, with no sign of stopping. Why quit when you're averaging 12 and half million viewers a week? The Housewives' intention to stick around was solidified last weekend, when Teri Hatcher (who plays Susan Mayer) used her Facebook page  to lash out at the U.K.'s Daily Mail for falsely reporting her imminent exit (along with costar Felicity Huffman). ("Ridiculously untrue" was one of several adjectives she used to describe the report.) As for the show's producer, Marc Cherry, he's signed a deal to keep the show on through 2013.

As long as the show is attracting advertisers (i.e. making money), it will keep going. At the moment, that's a good thing. Most critics agree that Desperate Housewives is experiencing a bit of a creative renaissance this season, with Vanessa Williams breathing new life (and even sassier dialogue) into the show. Watching Bree (Marcia Cross) get romanced by a young hottie -- played, no less, by 90210's Brian Austin Green -- has been a hoot. And Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) just keeps getting funnier. It's a testament to Longoria's comedic talents that her character is still so lovable despite her smart-alecky disregard for almost everyone around her. Even during slow episodes, Gaby's storyline always seems to lift the show up.

But does the show's recent success mean that it should stay on indefinitely? Let's face it: Other series have continued filming long after they lost their mojo. When ER debuted in 1994, it was innovative and compelling. By the time it limped off the air, in 2009, practically its whole cast had left, and the plotlines were all feeling like rehashed versions of earlier episodes. When Scrubs tried to reboot its show in Season 9, with an all-new cast of fresh interns, the result was a show that seemed painfully past it prime.

At some point soon, it's inevitable that these characters, too, will start to wear thin. How many more children can Lynette have, and how many working mother issues are left to tackle? She's already battled mother guilt, exhaustion, jealousy of stay-at-home moms, workplace pregnancy, and more. How many more ways are there to get Susan into sexy lingerie, now that she's happily married and has already tried stripping? And how many more murder mysteries can one neighborhood sustain?

For the time being, Desperate Housewives deserves to keep on going. I just hope the show can maintain its current level of creativity for as long as the people involved want to stick around.

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