Tag Archives: “Desperate Housewives

Nicollette Sheridan: Bad Enough to Make Use of Day in Court?

Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt

There was a time when Nicollette Sheridan’s court battle against “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry and ABC would have meant career suicide.  The blond bombshell has branded herself as a troublemaker.  She’s shown an edgy, prickly side on the witness stand.  She’s invited scrutiny from the public and the media — the kind of scrutiny that involves repeated references to her 48 years of age and to her career having faded before being revitalized in 2004 by her “Desperate Housewives” role of Edie Britt.

Yes, there was a time we would have expected her to be expelled by the industry over this fight — relegated to the dinner theater circuit like Suzanne Somers when she fell from network grace after tiffing with “Three’s Company” over her demand for a 500 per cent pay raise and a piece of the show decades ago.  There would be no win for Sheridan’s career, whether or not she wins some or all of the $20 million she’s aiming to get following her claims of assault against Cherry and subsequent wrongful termination.  (Cherry’s jovial quips eliciting laughter from the jury this week — not a good sign.)

However, this is 2012, when good things happen to bad boys and girls.  Charlie Sheen’s wanton carryings on, his beating up of women, his drug use, his arrests, his widely-booed Violent Torpedo of Truth stage show and all his internet strangeness got him a much-anticipated new FX TV series, “Anger Management.”  Recent morgue worker Lindsay Lohan’s “Saturday Night Live” guest-hosting stint last weekend garnered the show its second highest ratings of the season.  Also in the news is “Jersey Shore” low-life Snooki, famous for stumbling around intoxicated in public and so forth; as reports of her pregnancy swirl through the media, she sports a half-million-dollar engagement ring.

Nicollette, in fact, might not be bad enough.  She’s going to need to step up her game and do more than show exasperation.  She did slap her attorney, but only as a demonstration of what she says Cherry did to her.  Maybe she should slap him for real, and get rid of those sedate dark courtroom clothes.  Show cleavage.  Show disrespect.  Show up drunk.  Have a wardrobe malfunction on the courthouse  steps.  Take a tip from Lindsay, who cleverly painted “f— you” on one of her fingernails knowing the cameras followed her every move as a defendant.  It might not be too late for a “Mark Cherry Sucks” tattoo in an eye-catching spot, for example.

If Nicollette and/or her handlers are clever enough to use all this attention to burnish her brand as a still-hot-looking diva cougar, maybe it could actually help her career.  Maybe there will be a new show in it for her.  At the very least, surely Donald Trump would save a seat for her in his “Celebrity Apprentice” board room.

A Different Kind of Twist for ‘Desperate Housewives’

Kathryn Joosten

Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher,  Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Vanessa Williams may be in for a wild  ride as they finish out their final season of “Desperate Housewives” — in fact,  creator Marc Cherry promised as much when he and the stars met with press  recently to talk about the end of the eight-year-old phenomenon.  However,  there’s one storyline in this crazy last season that’s being handled straight:  Mrs. McCluskey will be dealing with lung cancer.  The arc has everything to  do with actress Kathryn Joosten, who plays the character, and is a two-time  survivor of the disease.

“The show knows what my medical condition is.  They’re aware of it; it hasn’t interfered with anything,” says Joosten, who won Emmys in ’05 and ’08 for her work on the series.  “They came to me and said, ‘What would you think if we did this storyline?’  And I said, ‘Wow, I think it’s a great idea.’ So lung cancer is going to be prominent, and it’s a terrific way to give [the cause] a voice.”

According to her, they’ve already shot some of the scenes, and the
production people and crew “were very supportive.  They knew it was a
personal statement for me as well.  I was kidding around saying it was practice sessions.”  She adds that she and the team “collaborated to some extent on how this might go.  The show was eager to get it right.  We didn’t want a soap opera-y, non-realistic situation.”

Joosten expects the story to play out over “several episodes near the end, but I don’t know.  They don’t tell us anything,” notes the feisty 72-year-old.  A long-time activist against lung cancer — which she believes has failed to get the attention it deserves from the public and medical community compared to other forms of the disease — she plans to “play up” this “Desperate Housewives” arc.  She’s already involved in a Pfizer campaign to draw attention to new developments in testing for tumor bio-markers that she reports can make enormous differences in lung cancer treatment.

And after “Desperate Housewives” bids farewell?  Joosten is already working on a whole new thing.  She’s ratcheting up her equestrian know-how by learning how to train a horse, and documenting the whole thing as a TV show, or maybe webisodes.  She says she knew that buying her two-year-old mare, Sprite, was the right thing to do when she found out “the lady who was taking care of her in Montana is named Mrs. McCluskey.  Can you believe it?  That proves the horse is mine.”

Brenda Strong Ready to Go From One Prime Time Soap to Another — Or Both

Brenda Strong

“Desperate Housewives” Emmy nominee Brenda Strong is thrilled with her nod from the Television Academy, but hard-pressed to come up with a reason why she’s been singled out for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance honors this year and not the other six years the series has been on the air.  “I have no idea.  Did somebody on ‘Family Guy’ not submit?” she asks wryly.  It could be just an accumulation of appreciation, friends have suggested to  her, or it just might be her turn.

Strong, who narrates the show as deceased housewife Mary Alice Young, will be appearing in front of the cameras more often as flashbacks begin to reveal more “Desperate” secrets come fall.  “Mary Alice is book-ending the season.  We have to act like it’s the last season, because we don’t  know if it is or not,” she says.  As for herself, “I would be happy to be Mary Alice Young ’til somebody sent the cows home and turned out the lights.”

If by chance “Desperate Housewives” did continue beyond what’s expected tobe its final year, Strong would be doing double duty — because she’s heading for Dallas this October to begin playing Mrs. Bobby Ewing in TNT’s 2012 “Dallas” reboot.  But that wouldn’t be a problem.  As she points out, “Technology is such now that as long as you have an ISDN line, you can record voiceovers from Timbukutu if you want to.”

If she does have any concern about work, it’s that audiences that still fondly remember Victoria Principal’s (late) Pam Ewing will accept her as Ann Ewing.  Comments Brenda, “The people on ‘Dallas’ were bigger than life when I was an up and coming actress.  I think it’s a great idea that we get to reshape it for another generation.  I love that we get to explore these real Shakespearean themes with our tongues in our cheeks.  Really, it’s family drama of Biblical proportions.”

Meanwhile, there are the Emmys.  Strong is being escorted by her 16-year-old son, Zakery, who is now also an actor.  Asked about feeling like her fellow nominees in the category are strange bedfellows, she quips, “Yes, but I won’t be sleeping with Porky Pig anytime soon.”  Porky Pig actor Bob Bergen is among the nominees in her category, as is Seth Green for multiple voices on his “Robot Chicken,” Maurice LaMarche for “Futurama,” Dan Castellaneta for “The Simpsons,” and Christopher Plummer for narrating “Moguls & Movie Stars – The Birth Of Hollywood.”

“In a weird way, it takes the pressure off, because they’re not doing what I do,” she says.  “But I’m honored to be in a category with these seasoned pros — and to be in the same sentence as Christopher Plummer, who I have so much respect for, that’s really a great place to be.”