Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy dramedy-mystery series created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. It aired on ABC from October 3, 2004 to May 13, 2012. It aired Sundays at 9:00pm Eastern/8:00pm Central which it has held its position all 8 years (2004–2012), and its timeslot is now occupied by Revenge. Executive producer Cherry served as showrunner. Other executive producers since the fourth season included Bob Daily, George W. Perkins, John Pardee, Joey Murphy, David Grossman and Larry Shaw.
The main setting of the show is Wisteria Lane, a street in the fictional American town of Fairview in the fictional Eagle State. The show follows the lives of a group of women, seen through the eyes of their dead neighbor, who committed suicide in the very first episode. The storyline covers the women's lives between 2004-2008 and later 2013-2017. They work through domestic struggles and family life, while facing the secrets, crimes and mysteries hidden behind the doors of their — at the surface — beautiful and seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood.
The show features an ensemble cast, headed by Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp, and Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis. Brenda Strong narrates the show as the deceased Mary Alice Young, appearing sporadically in flashbacks or dream sequences.
Since its premiere on ABC on October 3, 2004, the show has been well received by viewers and critics alike. The show is a multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award winner. The series premiere drew 21.6 million viewers and the show's first season finale attracted over 30 million viewers. In 2007 it was reported to be the most popular show in its demographic worldwide, with an audience of approximately 120 million and was also reported that the series is the third most watched TV show in a study of ratings in 20 countries. In 2012, it remained as the most-watched comedy series internationally based on data from Eurodata TV Worldwide, which measured ratings across five continents; it has held this position since 2006. Moreover, it was the third-highest revenue earning show for 2010, with US$2.74 million per half hour. The show placed #56 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list.
Desperate Housewives was officially renewed by ABC on May 17, 2011 for an eighth season. The season premiere episode was broadcast on Sunday, September 25. The eighth season was the show's final season. The series concluded on May 13, 2012. By the end of its eighth season, it had surpassed Charmed as the longest running hour-long drama featuring all female leads.