"The only harder thing than creating a hit show is knowing when to end it," said Marc Cherry as he looked ahead to the final year of "Desperate Housewives."
As ABC made official that the hit series would end after its upcoming eighth season, its creator, Cherry, joined ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee to insist the decision had been made jointly.
"I'm very aware that some shows overstay their welcome and I didn't want that to happen with `Desperate Housewives,'" Cherry told reporters during a Sunday session of the Television Critics Association conference. "We wanted to go out in the classiest way possible."
"Desperate Housewives," a glossy prime-time soap opera with an ensemble cast including Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria, made a pop-culture and ratings splash when it premiered in 2004 but has since seen a fall-off in the ratings and viewer buzz.
Cherry said he and Lee began discussions a year ago about when the series should be shuttered.
"We made this decision together," he said, "and I feel so good about it. We can have a whole year to reflect on how lucky we've been."
"We want to make sure it has its victory lap," Lee said.
Cherry said he had put out calls to all the show's cast members in recent days and spoken to about half of them.
"It was bittersweet and lovely. There was a touch of shock, but not completely," Cherry said in describing the conversations, adding that he and the stars shared a feeling of gratitude for the experience of doing the series.
While dismissing the possibility of a "Housewives" spinoff, he mentioned other projects, including "Hallelujah," a pilot ABC passed on this season but that's being re-worked.
But he joked that something simple and quick as a future series might be a nice change.
"Maybe two guys in a prison cell," Cherry proposed with a laugh. "I need something easier than `Desperate Housewives.'"
In a separate announcement, ABC said the celebrity cast for the new season of "Dancing with the Stars" will be unveiled live on Aug. 29 during ABC's airing of "Bachelor Pad." The dancing competition returns for its 13th round on Sept. 19.