Before Housewives were real they were desperate. This week I decided to honour one of the greatest scandals in tabloid history that personified the shaky dynamics between the stars of TV's hottest show and indirectly paved the way for an entire reality TV franchise based around seeing glamorous women fight.
Back in 2005 Desperate Housewives was the biggest show on the planet and remained one of the top 10 shows in America for the majority of it's eight year run. Marc Cherry's primetime soap opera set on the idyllic street of Wisteria Lane was filled with scandal, sex and soapy goodness that glued audiences to their TV's and instantly put the five stars and their behind the scenes drama at the centre of every tabloid in America, but the incident of their Vanity Fair photoshoot is one that will go down in history.
13 years ago, almost to this week, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria & Nicollette Sheridan graced the cover of Vanity Fair's May issue casually lounging by a pool in sexy bathing suits while the featured story spilled all the tea about the drama that ensued just to take that iconic shot.
The story, that was verified by Teri Hatcher in an Access Hollywood interview, claims that the group's discord was instigated by an ABC representative who was sent to the set with a list of demands including that Teri didn't select her wardrobe first or appear in the centre of the photo, because she was arguably the biggest star at the time. Legend has it that all those demands were broken when Teri decided to wear that steamy red bathing suit and Eva and Marcia allegedly threatened to walk off the set if their co-star continued to be at the centre of every photo which resulted in Hatcher leaving in tears and crying on the phone.
When the story dropped it spread like wildfire across the world and naturally people across the world were obsessed with the catty relationships between these women in the same way that The Real Housewives franchise gained such a cult following. After the insane media attention that the story received, the breakout star Eva Longoria poked fun at the story in her infamous Saturday Night Live skit where she played her rumoured enemy, Teri Hatcher, which I'm sure was awkward when they had to see each other at work on Monday.
Of course the photoshoot proved to only be the catalyst of the onset drama during the show's eight year run. Teri was known to "physically separate" herself from the others during breaks in filming after a "deep rift" was created between the women who played best friends on the show. After Nicollette Sheridan's character was killed off the show she infamously sued the series creator Marc Cherry and ABC for $20 million after she claimed he assaulted her and was fired from the show after she reported the incident. The trial was a soap opera in it's own right with the show's stars testifying against their ex costar in front of the world to see and Nicolette called Teri "the meanest woman in the world."
Rumours of unset drama even plagued the media after the show's conclusion when Felicity, Marcia, Eva and Vanessa Williams all gifted the crew suitcases as a thank you gift and noticeably left Teri's name off the card. After my extensive research and taking note of all the very subtle shade that the ladies threw in various interviews, it's pretty obvious that Teri was on the outskirts while the other three ladies had a good bond and still keep in touch with each other till this day.
Following the series finale most of the women have continued to have success. Felicity Huffman was nominated for three Emmy's for her show American Crime, Eva is still a tabloid sensation and is expecting her first child with her millionaire husband, Nicollette returned to TV as the firey Alexis Carrington in the Dynasty reboot which is her first job since Housewives, Marcia has made a few TV appearances and Teri may or may not be living out of her van that is featured in her new Youtube series.
Whether the stories of fighting are true or not (let’s face it, they are) Desperate Housewives was truly a phenomenon and the constant media attention only proved how huge the show had become in a time when social media wasn't the driving force that it is in society today. The show was an iconic stable in pop culture and Sundays haven't been the same since Wisteria Lane's set of dramatic women went off the air.