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    Desperate Housewives Surprise: Will It Really Go On for Nine Seasons?

    Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives ABC/Ron Tom

    Could Desperate Housewives go all the way to 2013?

    Our Ted Casablanca just broke the news that Marc Cherry told his cast and crew as much today in a surprising announcement. So, has ABC honcho Steve McPherson signed off? Are the girls onboard? And since Cherry said he would end the show earlier, why the change of heart?

    Here's what inside sources are telling me...

    “What Marc said today to the crew is that he would like to extend the show through season nine,” an ABC insider who was on set for the announcement tells me. “But there are no deals in place yet."

    A source who works on the show tells me, "We've been talking with the studio and the network about the conceptual possibilities of additional seasons, but it's still dependent on a lot of things like cast willingness, ratings, etc." Still, "It sure seems like it could happen!"

    Housewives is not yet picked up beyond its current fifth season; however, I'm told it is "highly likely" McPherson will continue the show as long as possible if the ratings stay strong.

    In an otherwise bleak TV landscape, Desperate has enjoyed big ratings this season, second only to Dancing With the Stars, with an average 16 million viewers on Sunday night. (Yep, it’s even come in higher than Grey’s Anatomy.)

    “There was definitely a collective sigh of relief on set,” says one insider who was there today for Cherry’s announcement. “Given the way the economy is going and how other good shows are getting canceled, I think everyone is definitely relieved to know that their jobs are safe.”

    In July, Cherry told reporters: “I’ve made the decision that after seven years I will probably keel over in a hump. I love my baby; I love working with these gals, but I’m going to take it for seven years, and we’re going to get out while people still like us.”

    Sources tell me Cherry’s new motivation to carry on is thanks in large part to the creative resurgence that has followed this season’s five-year time leap forward. “In a lot of ways, it’s like we are writing for a whole new show,” executive producer Bob Daily told us at the beginning of the season.

    Do you agree that D.H. has four more years of life? Will you be watching? Sound off below...

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