Even though each of these panels was its own entity, it just seemed best to combine them all into one posting, since I think most people really just want the bullet points about what we can expect from the new season. If I’m wrong, don’t be afraid to tell me so, but in the meantime, here’s what was doled out…
* The big news, as noted in the previous entry, is the five-year jump between last season and this season…or the “One Tree Hill”-ing of the series, if you will. (Look, I’m telling you, this description is so fetch. It’s totally gonna take off.)
* Gale Harold is playing Susan’s new love interest. “He’s kind of an interesting artsy guy who’s very much very different from the previous man in her life,” says executive producer Marc Cherry, “and he will present her with all sorts of new challenges, especially the fact that she kind of doesn’t really even want to be in a relationship. She’s not sure. So that’s kind of some of the colors we’ll be examining there.”
* There are no immediate plotlines planned which surround Andrew’s gayness, but “but some part of Andrew’s personal life will come up and probably cause problems for Bree soon enough,”says Cherry.
* Eva Longoria’s character, Gabrielle, is looking decidedly haggard after the five-year jump, but, then, that’s what happens when you pop out a pair of chubby little darlings in a short amount of time. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
* When asked where Edie’s character would be going this season, Nicolette Sheridan instantly deferred to Cherry, who would only say that “Edie will come back to Wisteria Lane in a very surprising way, and we’re not telling you anything more than that.”
* Neil McDonough is going to be moving onto Wisteria Lane. “He will be bringing the mystery with him,” says Cherry, “and all I’m going to tell you is he has revenge on his mind.”
* Even though he and Susan are no longer together, you will see Mike Delfino in the show. “It will be revealed what happened to Mike and Susan,” said Cherry, “and that’s all I’m going to tell you.” (Do you sense a recurring theme here?)
* The time jump has resulted in some of the actors and actresses playing the kids on the show to fall out of the show by necessity, but at least in the case of Andrea Bowen, who played Julie Mayer, Cherry says, “We’re going to bring her back and try to come up with stories to bring her back,” with fellow producer Bob Daily adding, “I think we’re hoping to see some of those kids in flashbacks.”
* In further discussion of the five-year jump and how much in the way of flashbacks we’d be seeing, Cherry reiterated that they were very much committed to staying in this new time period, with Daily clarifying, “I think the fun for us and the audience is revealing in dribs and drabs what you missed in those five-year periods. Sometimes that will involve flashbacks and sometimes it won’t. I think we’re trying to parcel that out over the first half of the season and then leave some mysteries open.”
Dirty Sexy Money:
* Lucy Liu is rebounding quickly from the flopping of “Cashmere Mafia” and popping up as a new character on “DSM”…although there really wasn’t a character before the idea of joining the show was pitched to her. “Creatively, they thought about bringing something onto the show to add a little bit of color, a little chaos…you know, mix it up a bit,” said Liu. “It sort of was just kismet really how it all turned out, I think.”
* Saimaire Armstrong will be returning as Juliet Darling…eventually. “She would be characterized as recurring,” said producer Craig Wright. “Her character is bound for the world out there, and when she comes back, we want her to be powerful and specific and special, which is what she is. I think definitely what I see occurring down the road…and I think anybody, if they consulted their inner storyteller, would arrive at the same conclusion…is that Juliet will get herself into trouble out there, and the right person to go get her is probably the team of Nick and Jeremy, and we’ll send them out to retrieve her and bring her back to safety.”
* Candis Cayne, the first transgender actress to have a recurring role on a prime-time series, will also be returning as Carmelita. “At the end of last season, you’ll remember she had vanished,” Wright reminded us. ” They came to her apartment, and they found she was missing. So when we come back at the top of the season, undoubtedly Patrick will be hot on the path of trying to locate her after a number of troubling months without her, while, meanwhile, his marriage has gotten complicated, and she will return. And she will play a part in Patrick’s public life that will be very, very dramatic.”
* As far as Patrick’s campaign, Wright says that “the election on our show will parallel the election in the country. His campaign story will wrap up quite close to the time the election here does, and he’ll either go forward or stop.”
* According to Peter Krause, in the coming season, “we’re going to see what happens to the George family with this extra income. The most important thing, I think, is psychologically that (Nick) wants to be close to his family, and I think we have to also remember he is in love with Karen as much as he doesn’t want to admit it. As much as it’s the wrong thing to do to give into that desire, it’s always there, and we avoid leaving them alone together except at certain times. And when they’re left alone together, pretty quickly we notice that whatever the job is at hand quickly sort of dissolves and they’re staring at each other. In terms of the path in the upcoming season, while I enjoy the ambivalence of what world am I in and how can I maintain my integrity, I think that we need to see Nick give into some more temptation, and that, I would say, is the change of course for the character of Nick, that rather than standing back from it and seeing it and weighing it, there’s going to be a few times when he makes the choice in a direction where it’s going to make him a little dirtier…and it’s going to cost him.”
* Per producer Jon Harmon Feldman, the character of Simon Elder will be better defined this year. “How he interacts with the family and what his intentions are, I think, will become very defined very soon,” said Feldman.
* There’s also going to be a triangle of sorts between Nick, Karen, and Simon Elder. Says Wright, “We all know that Simon and Karen have been romantically linked in the previous season, and I don’t anticipate Simon giving up on that. And who knows what his intentions are, whether he really loves Karen or whether he hopes to use her in some way in his continued efforts to get back at Tripp Darling and the Darling family. I don’t expect him to give up. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would. And that would place Nick in a position where, in order to protect the family and be an honest broker, he may have to come into conflict with Karen. Right? So once you make these issues family issues and emotional issues about people with longstanding loyalties and affections for each other who are now put into opposition, the questions of whether Nick is perfectly moral or perfectly immoral sort of evaporate in the light of the soapy, emotional question: Is Nick going to get Karen? Is he going to keep Karen from going off with Simon? What’s going to happen next?”
* “We will definitely see an extension of what the fallout is from the Sam/Naomi/Dell triangle,” says executive producer Shonda Rhimes, “and I think it gets fairly interesting and really complex and charming and funny. One of my favorite things to watch is Taye and Audra together sort of portraying this couple who is married and who has sort of lost whatever spark it was they had while they were married and still feeling the love for one another and not being sure about it.”
* David Sutcliffe will be returning to the show as Officer Kevin Nelson, and Rhimes made it sound as though there would be more guest stars as well, but after citing his name, she said, “I don’t think we have any other guest casting to announce at this moment.” So keep your ears pealed for future announcement in future weeks.
* Chris Lowell’s character – Del Parker, Professional Midwife – is going to get more of the spotlight this year. “I think it’s really interesting to sort of find a way to make midwifery and a guy doing midwifery really interesting and also have sort of complex moral and ethical dilemmas involved in it,” said Rhimes. “We’re going to see Dell get involved with characters and have his own dilemmas and face off against Addison and face off against Naomi and the other doctors in the practice about that sort of thing.”
* “We’re moving towards a place for Addison where the back-and-forth in the relationships comes to a much stronger place,” said Rhimes, though she admitted that we probably wouldn’t see it come to full fruition within this season.
* Violet will deal with the loss of Cooper. “She was leaning a lot on Cooper, and now she’s having to really become an individuated person,” said Amy Brenneman. “She lost Cooper, she lost her boyfriend, da da da, but it’s really good for her. I think she’s just having to dig deep, and I think you get more of a clear case of what she’s up against in the psychotherapeutic world, what her work is about, and how it connects with the other doctors’. And I think she’s just dealing with the loss of her best friend.”