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Marc Cherry

Marc Cherry is the creator of Desperate Housewives.


Early career[]

Cherry attended California State University, Fullerton's theater program and initially considered a career in performance. He decided to move to Hollywood and pursue writing work. His move came at a bad time; the 1988 writer's strike hit as soon as Cherry arrived. Cherry broke into the industry by working as Designing Women star Dixie Carter's personal assistant.

In 1990, he became a writer and producer for the long-running hit sitcom The Golden Girls. Cherry wrote for the show, and its short lived spinoff The Golden Palace.

When those shows concluded, Cherry co-created The Five Mrs. Buchanans. The concept of the show centered around the matriarch of the family (played by Eileen Heckart) and the wives of her four sons. The show had a brief run on CBS during the 1994-1995 season.

Cherry also co-created The Crew (1995). On his own, he later created Some of My Best Friends a 2001 sitcom that was based in part on the film Kiss Me, Guido.

Desperate Housewives[]

In 2004, a conversation with his mother inspired him to develop a show about the fractured lives of four women. After HBO, FOX, CBS and NBC all passed on the show, Cherry got his big break when ABC decided to pick it up. The series, Desperate Housewives, was an immediate ratings smash and generated enormous national (and subsequently, international) debate. Cherry received several lucrative offers from various parties, but chose to sign a long-term deal with Touchstone, since their network had shown faith in Desperate Housewives when no one else would.

The show was a phenomenon for much of its first season, but was criticized by TV critics who said the second season of Desperate Housewives was not as creative or as good as the first. Viewers seemed to agree, since the ratings dropped as the season progressed. Cherry, the Head Writer, who had been working part-time on the show in season two, took a larger role in developing and producing season three.

Cherry has featured several actors on "Housewives" that he has worked with before; Mark Moses, who played villain Paul Young, and Harriet Sansom Harris, who played Felicia, were both cast members of The Five Mrs. Buchanans. In season three, Cherry cast former boss Dixie Carter in the role of Gloria Hodge, Orson's unhinged mother. Actor Alec Mapa, who appeared in Some of My Best Friends, appears on "Housewives" in a recurring role as Gabrielle's stylist.

For the production of the final season of the series, Marc handed over the role of showrunner to fellow executive producer Bob Daily. Regarding the approximation of the end of the series, he had to say:

People keep asking me if it’s bittersweet, and I go, “No. It’s completely sweet,” because I’m smart enough to know, when I started this ‑‑ this is my 23rd year as a professional writer ‑‑ there’s no such thing as a job that goes on forever. All good things come to an end. And I was SO fucked. I was in ‑‑ like a $100,000 in debt to my mother. I went through years without an interview for a job. No one thought I was anything. I had friends that didn’t even call for a while. And then, like, I write this script because it was my attempt to show people that I was a better writer than maybe they thought, and all hell broke loose. And right from the start, I knew it was going to be a roller coaster, but I’m smart enough, and the way my mom brought me up, I was humane enough to go, “It’s all good. Even the bad stuff is good. Even those days when I’m exhausted” ‑‑ and for those of you who saw me, I’m, like, 50 pounds thinner than I was the first season because I was stuffing carbs into my face constantly to write because I was writing so much of that first season. That’s why I was so thankful when folks like (exec producer) Bob (Daily) came along to take some of the burden off me ‑‑ that even during the bad times, it was fantastic. Even, like, when some other show comes along and it’s the hot new show, I’m like, “Good for you. Go with it, babe.” This is how this industry works. It’s like life. To everything there is a season. Our seasons are coming to an end. And so I just ‑‑ for all of us, we’re just so grateful for the ride we’ve had because not many people in this business get to experience what we have all collectively experienced. So that’s how I feel, is just grateful and looking forward to the next chapter.


Other credits[]

Cherry appeared as himself in an episode of Arrested Development, which was created by fellow Golden Girls writer Mitchell Hurwitz.

Cherry also has appeared numerous times on the hit Starz show Headcase. A reoccurring theme occurs with Cherry and James Denton discussing the character plotline of Mike Delfino.

Political affiliation[]

Cherry was described in an article about him in Newsweek as a "somewhat conservative, gay Republican."

When Jerry Falwell was asked how he felt about that, he said "the fact that he’s a gay Republican means he should join the Democratic Party."

On June 29, 2006, Cherry accepted Log Cabin Republicans' American Visibility Award at a dinner in Hollywood where the main award recipient was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who received the club's "Courage To Lead" award.


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