'Devious Maids' creator talks lessons learned from 'Desperate Housewives'

Creator and executive producer Marc Cherry, left, and actor Ana Ortiz talk about Lifetime's...

Creator and executive producer Marc Cherry, left, and actor Ana Ortiz talk about Lifetime's "Devious Maids" during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, January 9, 2014. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

Devious Maids creator Marc Cherry cherry-picks from his past to aid his future.

“The first thing I learned from my experience with Desperate Housewives was, know what your second season is before you write your first season,” Cherry said.

Cherry made the observation in reference to the second season of Devious Maids, which begins Sunday, April 20 on Lifetime. Cherry also was the creator of Desperate Housewives, which aired from 2004 to 2012.

“I very much plotted everything (on Devious Maids) with an eye to what I was going to do in the second season,” Cherry said. “When I did Desperate (Housewives), I was just trying to get through that first season. And boy, when I started season two, I didn't know what was going on.

“I learned a lot of tough lessons the hard way. I'm able to bring that experience to bear dealing with this lovely group of gals.”

The lovely group of gals to which Cherry referred consists primarily of Ana Ortiz as Marisol, Dania Ramirez as Rosie, Roselyn Sanchez as Carmen, Judy Reyes as Zoila and Edy Ganem as Valentina. Season two sees that quintet continuing their existences as the best-dressed maids the world ever has seen.

But of course, Marisol never really was a maid. She went undercover to solve a mystery, and tangents notwithstanding, that story drove season one.

“Because I was choosing to introduce (Marisol) as a woman on a mission, I knew that would play great for the first season,” Cherry said. “But the question was, what to do about Marisol (after that?).”

Ortiz asked herself the same question.

“I was worried about it,” Ortiz admitted. “I was like, 'Wait, if I'm not a maid any more, what's going to happen?' ”

But remembering his Desperate Housewives days, Cherry already had a plan.

“I knew before I even started the first season that, in the second season, Marisol marries a rich man, and she has a devious maid working for her,” Cherry said. “So she becomes one of the employers.

“She's moving on up, but she's got a lot of deviousness to deal with in her own house.”

To be fair to Cherry's past, it must be easier to plan a 13-episode cable season for a show such as Devious Maids than a 23- or 24-episode network season for a show such as Desperate Housewives.

“As any soap creator on the networks will tell you, you always hit that point in the season - usually around episode 12 or 13 - where you are just grabbing stuff,” Cherry said. “Because you've run out of stuff, you know? It just churns it up so quickly.

“In terms of the creative, this is much more rewarding for me.”

At this pace, and having quizzed domestic employees who work in Beverly Hills, Cherry assured us he won't soon run out of “creative” for Devious Maids.

As he put it, “Believe me when I tell you, half the stories they told me, I could not do even on a cable network.”

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


Videos

Photos