|INTERVIEW: "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BOB DAILY ON OLD CLIFFHANGERS, NEW NEIGHBORS |
By Jim Halterman
The closing moments of "Desperate Housewives" last season found Mike Delfino (James Denton) at the altar with a bride that could have been either long-love Susan (Teri Hatcher) or Katherine (Dana Delaney). In the first minute of this Sunday's sixth season premiere, viewers will find out the identity of the bride and, true to form with the ABC soap, there are more surprises to be had throughout the entire hour and season. For the lowdown on what surprises are in store, executive producer Bob Daily shared how the writers flip-flopped on who the mystery bride would be, constructed a new family to plug into the mix and how killing off Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) should send a message to viewers on future life-threatening situations for the cast.
Jim Halterman: Without giving away who Mike (James Denton) chooses to be his bride, was it a tough decision as to who would be his wife and who would be the scorned woman?
Bob Daily: I will tell you that when we left the writers' room last season we thought it was going to be one person and within the first week after our return we changed our minds. How's that for tough?
JH: Why did you change your mind?
BD: Honestly, it was two things. One, it was based on the anecdotal fan reaction after the season finale of season five aired and I think all the writers had very similar experiences with fans. The other reason was just what would be the most fun story going forward?
JH: It is very easy to assume that any family that comes to the neighborhood is going to be some kind of trouble and the Bolen family seems to be no exception. What is the thought process for constructing this new family?
BD: That one was driven in large part by casting because when we discovered we could get Drea de Matteo (who plays Angie Bolen) we thought, "Oh my gosh!" Based on what she's played in the past, she's certainly the last woman you'd expect to move into Wisteria Lane and we thought that would be a lot of fun to play that contrast so that's where we started from.
JH: The Bolen son, Danny (Beau Mirchoff) looks like trouble from the start.
BD: He's trouble, isn't he? There's trouble but lots of surprises along the way, some of which will be happening in the first third of the season but lots we'll be dropping at the end of the year.
JH: Lynette is not happy about her unexpected twin pregnancy and is even going to keep it a secret for as long as she can. Is this going to be a comedic or dramatic arc for Felicity Huffman?
BD: Well, I will tell you that episode two is very dramatic and then it becomes comic so we're trying to get a little of both. That storyline starts out very dramatic and then there's a funny, comic twist. We're in the middle of writing episode eight now and it all seems to be paying off.
JH: When you put Bree (Marcia Cross) and Karl (Richard Burgi) together, did you realize you were going to get some nice sparks there with the actors?
BD: We've always loved Richard Burgi. He started off season one as Susan's ex-husband and he's just one of those guys that anytime you bring him back you know it's going to be fun. The crew loves him so when we started talking about Bree having an affair he just jumped to mind as the last guy you'd expect for her to be with so there's a lot of fun in playing that contrast.
JH: Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker) and Carlos (Richard Antonio Chavira) have taken in his teenage niece, who essentially seems to be a younger version of Gaby. Is that what you were going for?
BD: Exactly what we're going for in some ways. I think last year we played the fun of what if Gaby had two daughters who were so unlike her and this year this is what it will be like to have someone in the household who is Gaby at age 17. Will she be able to help her or will they always be fighting and what will that relationship be like?
JH: I know Neal McDonough's character came to an end last season but the actor was so great. Any chance the actor might come back in some other capacity?
BD: We'd love to bring him back but it's a bit tricky because we made him a homicidal crazy man but if you have any good ideas to bring him back, let us know because we love Neal and thought he was great.
JH: He was already evil so maybe the nice twin shows up for a change.
BD: [Laughs.] Exactly. You don't see the nice twin show up as often.
JH: I know the gay couple Bob (Tuc Watkins) and Lee (Kevin Rahm) is going to be adopting a child this year. Wasn't that supposed to happen last season?
BD: We talked about it and we always have this problem with the men of Wisteria Lane. There are six women that we have to take care of every week and it's really tough to give the men their own storylines and as funny as I think that would be I think we'll do it someday.
JH: I thought the show handled Nicollette Sheridan leaving last year in a great way from a story perspective. How are you prepared for other actors to leave since the show is getting older?
BD: I think we felt with Nicollette that we hated to see her go but I always sort of felt that you put these characters in jeopardy and then the audience thinks, "They aren't really going to kill them because they're the stars of the show," or that sort of jeopardy becomes false so it was very valuable for us to say to the audience, "We actually can kill them." It might give us a little more oomph in the future but we don't want to ever say never. I think there are certain people who are pretty safe but going forward, who knows. Going forward if people don't want to be on the show anymore that's certainly a possibility.
JH: Beau Bridges scored an Emmy nomination last year for that great standalone episode last season. Any others like that coming up?
BD: We would love to. That was our 100th episode so it was kind of a special thing but it worked so well and was so much fun to write that I think we would love to try to find something like that. Episode two is not like that but it's all connected around one unified event so we're going to try to do more things like that. As the show heads into later seasons it's fun to break the format and do something a little different.
"Desperate Housewives" premieres its sixth season this Sunday at 9:00/8:00c on ABC.
Edited on 09/25/2009 9:29am