Suddenly successful ABC is no fool. With awards season just around the corner, the network is taking steps to make sure both of its new watercooler hits get their props.
And that's why the high-drama mamas of Wisteria Lane, aka ABC's Sunday night ratings smash Desperate Housewives, will be entering the Golden Globes competition in the Best Comedy Series category. The move ensures that ABC's other breakout of the season, Wednesday night desert island drama Lost, won't be forced to go head-to-head with its network brethren at the Globes.
"[Desperate Housewives] is a show that straddles both genres. We're pretty much in the enviable position of being able to choose, and we're going to do what's best for the show," a rep for Housewives production company Touchstone tells Variety. "It's tougher to compete with strict dramas like The Sopranos."
Housewives stars Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Nicollette Sheridan and Marcia Cross will also throw their hats into comedy-actress ring.
Though calling Housewives a strict comedy may be a stretch--especially since the show's narrator, neighbor Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong), is watching the action from the Great Subdivision in the Sky after killing herself in the show pilot--the show is hardly the first to bend the category boundaries come award season.
Fox's lawyer dramedy Ally McBeal actually won the Best Comedy Series Emmy in 1999 and Golden Globe in 1998 and 1999, while the WB's mother-daughter drama Gilmore Girls has been submitted in the Best Comedy category competition for the Emmys for several years (though it has never picked up a nod). McBeal star Calista Flockhart also won individual Globe honors for Best Comedy Actress in 1998.
Whether or not Housewives and its stars nab statues at the Globes or next fall's Emmys, the show has clearly made its mark on the TV landscape this season.
Because of Housewives' dominating presence in the Sunday at 9 p.m. slot, ABC found itself in the enviable position of moving the spot's former tenant, Jennifer Garner's spy drama Alias, to another night. Alias will kick off its fourth season on Jan. 5 with a two-hour premiere in its new Wednesday, 9 p.m. spot, following Lost. Both shows were created by producer J.J. Abrams.
And though the campy, randy, often scantily clad Wisteria-ites have alienated a few advertisers and some NFL fans along the way, they've also managed to lure in an elusive demographic among the nearly 22 million viewers who tune in each week.
Nielsen Media Research reports that nearly 40 percent of the Housewives fans are men, with the series becoming one of the top three shows for the much-prized 18-34 and 18-49 male audience.
"The humor is just amazing," Chris Martz, a 33-year-old Housewives habitué from Indianapolis, gushed to the Los Angeles Times. "This show is far from a soap opera, which is what I tell my friends. Quite frankly, this is a typical American neighborhood. I am president of my homeowners association, and I can see this exact show happening in our neighborhood."
That should be enough to rev up the real estate market in Indy, no?