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As ‘Desperate Housewives’ heads into its final episodes, the series dealt fans a major blow as one original character met his untimely demise.
At the end of the March 11 episode, titled ‘You Take For Granted’, Mike Delfino, played by James Denton, was gunned down on his porch following a confrontation with a mobster in the previous episode. Mike lay dying in the arms of his wife Susan, played by Teri Hatcher, as the show flashed back over memorable scenes involving the couple from throughout its 8-year run.
The episode had begun with a warning from narrator Mary Alice Young, voiced by Brenda Strong, that one of five characters would die within a few days, and throughout the episode all five had various brushes with death until, finally, it was Denton’s character who failed to survive.
Denton’s exit from the show had been teased by ABC earlier this year, when it was announced that a major character would die before the final episode, however, it was during a testimony from executive producer George Perkins that the identity of the deceased character was revealed.
Perkins’ was testifying in the high-profile court case between ‘Desperate Housewives’ show-runner Marc Cherry and former star Nicolette Sheridan, who is suing Cherry over her dismissal from the series in 2009 and for an alleged physical altercation which took place onset several months earlier, and which Sheridan claims was what precipitated her exit from the show.
When Sheridan’s attorney asked Perkins if any other major characters had been killed off, likely in an attempt to establish whether Sheridan had been singled out for firing following the alleged altercation, Perkins revealed that plans had been made to have kill off Denton’s character. Due to the public nature of this trial, Perkins’ revelation was soon picked up on by various news outlets, and ABC’s ‘murder mystery’ suspense for the March 11 episode was spoiled.
Speaking to EW.com about his exit from the series, Denton expressed no bitterness about his departure from the series, saying:
I think it’s really funny because through all the interviews, all the talk shows, people would ask what I wanted on the show. I’d say: “I just want to live. Just don’t kill me. Whatever it takes, just don’t kill me.” And I made it with six episodes to go — I almost made it. Delfino gets this really big exit, and I’m free for pilot season. It’s ironic. It ends up it’s the best gift I could have gotten.
Denton, however, will make one further confirmed appearance on the show in next Sunday’s episode for “the funeral and some flashbacks, and that’s it.” Desperate Housewives continues to air Sundays at 9pm for the remainder of the season, with its last-ever episode scheduled to air in May.