Asking the women of Desperate Housewives to strike a pose at a recent photo shoot nearly led to them striking one another, according to Vanity Fair.

Well, okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but things reportedly got pretty heated on the shoot set.

Scantily-clad Housewives stars Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan grace the cover of the May issue of the magazine, along with a caption reading, "You wouldn't believe what it took just to get this photo!"

The accompanying article reveals that the photo shoot was manned by an unnamed ABC rep with specific demands--namely that Hatcher not have first choice of wardrobe and that she not be posed in the center of the photo.

"Whatever you do," the rep told Vanity Fair staffers upon arriving on the set, "do not let Teri go to wardrobe first."

Hatcher, who won a Golden Globe for her work on the series, did go into wardrobe first, much to the reported consternation of the rep, who later discovered that the actress had already consulted with the shoot's stylist days ahead of time.

"This is a problem," the rep complained to the magazine. "I'm getting text messages from Eva. Everything is not fine."

Once the women had finally selected their assorted outfits, they assembled in front of a pool for the shoot. But, according to the magazine, when Cross found Hatcher next to her in the center of the photo, she stormed off the set and screamed at the ABC rep to "do your [expletive deleted] job!"

Hatcher reportedly retreated from the set, in the meantime, and cried into her cell phone during a heated conversation.

The final cover shot shows Sheridan occupying the center position, with Hatcher on one side and Cross on the other. Longoria and Huffman are posed below them. However, Cross and Huffman can not be seen when the fold-out cover is closed.

In the accompanying article, written by Vanity Fair contributing editor Ned Zeman, Cross addresses the intense media coverage of the show and the recent speculations over her sexuality.

"Honestly, I don't read it," Cross said." And I don't even watch the show right now. It's too much. It's just too much..."

In the wake of rampant reports of the photo shoot meltdown, ABC and Touchstone Television tried to smooth over the Vanity Fair crisis, calling it "one isolated incident."

"While negotiating certain elements of photo shoots is standard practice, and was part of our coordination with Vanity Fair, this shoot simply did not go as planned," the network stated. "Because of this, our talent were made to deal as best they could with a situation not of their making. This one isolated incident does not define these women or their relationship."

Hatcher also denied that hard feelings existed between her and Cross.

"All I know is, all the girls are supportive of each other, and we don't want to damage that," she told Access Hollywood.

Last Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives underwent a minor makeover. After Pope John Paul II's condition worsened Friday, followed by his subsequent death on Saturday, producers elected to remove a Catholic reference from the episode, according to the New York Daily News.

In a scene where the women attend a funeral for Gabrielle's (Longoria) mother-in-law, Bree (Cross) turned to Lynnette (Huffman) and said, "You have to hand it to the Catholics, they do grief better than anyone." Producers inserted a clip of Cross' voice saying "Gabby and Carlos" where she originally said "the Catholics," so as not to offend anyone.

"These were extraordinary circumstances," executive producer Michael Edelstein told the Daily News. "This is about respect for an individual, in respect for a religion."

The show finished in fourth place for the week ended Sunday, with 24.6 million viewers tuning in. To no-one's surprise, ABC has renewed Desperate Housewives for next fall.

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