Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:23 AM ET
The same day that ABC officially announced that the long-running hit "Desperate Housewives" was ending after season eight, several stars from the series attended the network's party at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles to share their reactions and hopes for the final year.
"Bob Daily and George Perkins and Sabrina Wind -- who are all producers -- came and made an announcement on the set (on Friday). It was lightening!" said Felicity Huffman, who plays Lynette Scavo. "They told me like it was a state secret, like I would get killed if I told anyone."
"It felt like they could’ve milked a few more years out of it," said James Denton, who plays Mike Delfino. "It’s hard for me to be anything but grateful. I never would’ve left this show, so I’m glad I’m being forced to leave."
Brenda Strong, who plays Mary Alice Young, said she was not completely surprised by the news of the series' end. "We knew it was going to be either season eight or season nine because we had negotiated for both," she said. "I was disappointed certainly, but I wasn’t that surprised, just because I knew it was going to have to end sometime."
And speaking of endings, Huffman said she hopes Lynette's relationship with husband Tom (played by Doug Savant) goes in a certain direction -- divorce, to be specific. "I’m tempted for Tom and Lynette not to get back together again, because I think there’s something horrible and real," she said. "I think there’s something real about that and having to deal with two houses and children."
Whether or not the couple divorces, it does sound like there's at least a trial separation. "I'm going to be a cougar!" Huffman revealed. She added that "the last I heard is that Tom would have a girlfriend." She also said that she thinks the writers will end the show with the pair apart.
Strong was already back on the set last week. As creator Marc Cherry told reporters on Sunday morning, season eight would harken back to Mary Alice's roots, and Strong has already begun filming some of her scenes. "I had to go back to the day I killed myself. Talk about recapitulation!" said Strong. She said that before taking her own life, Mary Alice wanted to call her friends, but then decided not to. "It’s a very emotionally charged subject," she said.
Marcia Cross, who plays Bree Hodge, wouldn't dish on what may be coming up for her character, but she did tell TODAY.com that she has something general in mind -- growth and mystery. "I think it’d be great to leave with that feeling, like, 'Huh, what’s going to happen to her next week?' " said Cross.
Though "Desperate Housewives" has ended seasons with huge cliffhangers, Denton is hoping for something not quite as dramatic. "I just hope it’s natural and really believable and normal, that the characters for some reason move on to another part of life, that there’s nothing melodramatic," he said. "I know these guys will find a classy way to do it, but I just hope it’s something really normal. I trust it’ll be satisfying."
Though he's hoping for something believable, he would like to see the return of Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt, something that Cherry has hinted he had toyed with the idea of. "I would love nothing more," Denton told TODAY.com. "I think the audience would love it. It would be a tricky flashback. But you know what, (the writers are) never going to go that way now that they have to be very serious about how the show winds up. But if Edie’s evil twin came back, that would be heaven."
Denton also told TODAY.com that Cherry revealed to him in season one how things would end for Mike Delfino. "It’s funny. I keep saying what I would like to see happen, but Marc Cherry told me in season one, 'Here’s what happens to you in the last episode.' So I know! So that’s kind of cool," he said. "And I’m anxious to see it happen after eight years of trying to picture how Marc was gonna do it." (No, he wouldn't give us any hints as to what might happen to Mike.)
However things end for the individual characters, the consensus is that it'll be great to have nine months to come up with a proper ending that will satisfy.
"Of course it’s human nature when you know that something’s finite, you taste it a little more, you appreciate it a little more," said Huffman.
"Hopefully, everyone will end up a little happier instead of with our typical let’s-kill-everyone-on-the-street finale," Strong told TODAY.com. "That’s my hope, that we can actually end with some real genuine gratitude."
The final season of "Desperate Housewives" premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.
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