Andrew Eccles, ABC
"Desperate" stars Eva Longoria , Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Nicollette Sheridan.

Some "Desperate Housewives" fans seem ready to abandon the show based on something that hasn't happened yet.

If that wasn't odd enough, it comes at a time when the show is concluding arguably its best season ever. And that's in spite of dealing with the writers' strike, which cut the season back from 22 hours to 17.

The unofficial word is that "Desperate Housewives" is going to be doing a time warp before next season. That the show will leap ahead in time either at the end of Sunday's two-hour, fourth-season finale (8 p.m., Ch. 4) or at the beginning of next season.

There's evidence to back that up, between what happened on the show last week; what executive producer Marc Cherry said about what happened on the show last week; and what ABC's top programmer said about who'll be back on the show next season.

• In last week's episode, Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) packed her bags and left Wisteria Lane, leading to speculation that the character and the actress who plays her were gone for good.

• In an interview with The Associated Press, Cherry said that Edie "won't be back for a few years."

• In an interview with reporters at this week's presentation of the fall schedule, ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson said that Sheridan would be on the show next season.

So ... it's not much of a leap to jump to the conclusion that the show will indeed jump ahead in time.

Is it kind of a crazy idea? Maybe.

Is it any crazier than doing a weekly, hourlong soap opera that's mostly a comedy? Absolutely not.

And I've got to believe that Cherry and his team know what they're doing. "Desperate Housewives" has had its ups and downs, like every weekly series. But its downs are a lot higher than most shows' ups.

Maybe it's just that I subscribe to the crazy theory that you should actually watch something before you review it. And I'll definitely be watching to see what Cherry and "Desperate Housewives" do next.

SPEAKING OF RESERVING judgment, I'm waiting to see how the folks at "Brothers & Sisters" get out of the mess they've created for themselves.

Not only did we end the season with Justin (Dave Annable) and Rebecca (Emily Van Camp) — who thought they were brother-and-sister for more than a year (they're not) — getting romantic, but it turns out there's yet another illegitimate Walker child out there somewhere?!?!?

And, thank goodness in light of a big plotline in Season 1, he just happens to share the same first initial as Rebecca?!?!?

It's hard not to be skeptical. But executive producers Greg Berlanti, Jon Robin Baitz and Ken Olin and their team have done such a great job making "Brothers & Sisters" such a fun show, I've got to believe they know what they're doing.

We'll find out in the fall.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com