BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. The women of Wisteria Lane may have only a few more years to resolve their assorted problems.
"Desperate Housewives" creator and executive producer Marc Cherry told a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Thursday that he plans to end the ABC series after seven seasons.
The domestic comedy-drama starring Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria begins its fifth season this fall.
"I love working with these gals, but the idea of letting anyone else take the show from me kind of makes me sad and sick to my stomach," Cherry said. "We're going to get out while people still like us."
"Of course," he added, "this could be some clever ruse on my part to get tremendous amounts of money in season eight, but who knows."
Cherry, who took part in a "Desperate" panel discussion, also joined a Q&A session with other top ABC producers.
One topic of conversation was the refusal by "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl to submit her name for Emmy consideration.
Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzie Stevens on the ABC medical drama, claimed last season's scripts were sub-par. Two of Heigl's co-stars, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson, made the Emmy cut when nominations were announced Thursday.
Shonda Rhimes, who produces both "Grey's" and "Private Practice," told the TV critics' meeting that she was surprised by Heigl's comment.
"I actually have a really wonderful working relationship with Katherine and I love and respect her as an actress," Rhimes said. "And, as everyone knows, Izzie is one of my favorite characters, so for me, it was surprising.
"But Katherine is an outspoken person and I think we all know that already," Rhimes said.
Asked about coping with candid actors, Rhimes said "the story that's out in the press is generally one side of the story. ... Sometimes that's not everything that's going on and that's not everything that's underneath something."
A reporter then asked: "What don't we know about the Heigl thing that we've misreported or not understood?"
"She was drunk," Marc Cherry chimed in with a laugh.
Cherry also joked about having to share the stage with "Lost" producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who had earlier received an Emmy nod for best drama series. "Housewives," like "Grey's," was snubbed in the series categories.
"We haven't gotten nominated since year one," Cherry said. "Season two was not a good season for us creatively ... but season three was better, and season four was really good. So for me waking up this morning it was like, 'You know what? I had a really good season.' So I've got to kind of go with what I feel in my heart."