Why 'Desperate Housewives' killed Nicollette Sheridan off...

Nicollettesheridan Wisteria Lane bid Nicollette Sheridan farewell last night and this weekend, when "Desperate Housewives" was honored by The Paley Festival, we were given the official reasoning behind her character's death, thanks to an audience member who asked, "Edie. Why? Why? Why? Whyyy?!"

Did Sheridan want out? Not according to "DH" creator Marc Cherry. With the goal of keeping viewers engaged, Cherry said he'd planned to kill off a main character in the fifth season for quite some time, he just didn't know whom it would be until recently. "Creatively, the writers and I were starting to run out of ideas [for Edie]," he admitted. And that's when they realized she'd be the one to go.

For those hoping the dearly departed character might suddenly come back to life -- or that the surprise return in the season finale could be any one of "DH"'s deceased -- prepare for disappointment. During the panel, Cherry said that as long as he can use flashbacks to bring his dead characters back onscreen and flesh out their storylines/unanswered questions that way, he has no plans to rouse anyone from their dirt nap. "When I kill them, I like them to stay dead," he shared, adding that he's afraid of making his show too much like the daytime soaps.

Besides, sources close to Sheridan say her dismissal stung. She always felt she was treated like a fifth wheel on the series, telling friends that Edie was undervalued by the show's producers.

Kathrynjoosten Funny enough, Edie's best friend -- and "DH"'s other "fifth housewife" -- Karen McCluskey, played by Emmy winner Kathryn Joosten, is in a completely different situation as the only Wisteria woman who has a guarantee of staying alive. Cherry told Paley attendees that he and Joosten were chatting a few years ago about her experience on "The West Wing" and when she mentioned how unhappy she was that Aaron Sorkin offed her character, Cherry found himself promising he would never kill her off "DH." He realized as soon as he made the promise that he probably shouldn't go around giving that guarantee to anyone else. Joosten did note that just because Karen isn't getting killed off, that doesn't mean Marc can't move her out of the neighborhood one day. Not to worry though, it seems as though McCluskey will be sticking around for a while... she's got a love interest coming her way.

Terihatcher And on the subject of Wisteria Lane love lives, for fans hoping for a Mike and Susan reunion -- apparently you people exist? -- there is good news and bad. The good news is that fans at Paley were on your side -- the audience clapped when a question was asked about the M/S relationship and Teri Hatcher clapped along with the crowd while Dana Delany mock pouted over the thought of her character's boyfriend with another woman -- and Marc admitted Mike and Susan's relationship will be revisited. The bad news is that it might take a while to get there. "Happiness is lovely, but it's the death of drama," said Cherry. "We'll get back [to Mike and Susan], but we don't know when." Because the show will be sticking around for at least a few more years, the writers have time to prolong the will-they-won't-they thing. Besides, as you may have already heard, Susan will be receiving a marriage proposal from Gale Harold's Jackson when he returns to "DH" next month and Mike will be engaged to Delany's character, Katherine Mayfair, pretty soon too.

Galeharold Speaking of Gale Harold, Marc mentioned that he's recovered from last year's motorcycle accident and that he actually looks better now than when we last saw him. I can vouch for that, as I visited Wisteria Lane this week and got some one-on-one time with the guy. His return will obviously impact Susan, but it'll also throw a wrench into Dave (Neal McDonough)'s diabolical plans. Remember, Jackson witnessed Dave coming out of that storage room, where he killed his shrink, just before Fairview's big fire...

So there's definitely more big drama to come on that front, however Neal doesn't believe Dave really wants the revenge he's been seeking this season. He noted that one part of his character -- the guy who existed before his wife and kid were lost -- really likes the people on Wisteria Lane, thinks of Mike as his best friend and wants to be a part of that life. But the man who emerged from him once his family was destroyed will only be satisfied when Mike pays for his role in their death. Said Neal, "I guarantee you will not be let down by the end of the season."

Jessemetcalfe Marc told the audience, as I mentioned above, that a character from the first two years of the show will return in the last five minutes of the finale, and that this return will shock the audience. He also said the actors on the panel hadn't been told about the return yet... which I now realize means that, though Jesse Metcalfe's John Rowland will be coming back to Wisteria Lane, he isn't the familiar old face we're being teased about, as he's already filmed scenes.

So, any new thoughts on who this returning mystery character may be?

--Reporting by Marisa Roffman

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Why we weren't allowed to say goodbye to Nicollette Sheridan
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