'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Desperate Housewives': No end dates in sight ... yet
But they've both been around a good while -- they're the two longest-running scripted shows ABC currently has on its schedule -- and their ratings (like a lot of veteran shows) are not what they once were. So Zap2it asked Lee Monday at the TV critics winter press tour whether he's had any discussions with "Grey's" creator Shonda Rhimes or "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry about setting an end date for their shows.
"Not yet," Lee says, adding that "I'm not saying we will with both of these." He does acknowledge, though, that there's a potential upside to letting fans know that one of their favorite shows is nearing the end of its run.
"If you watched 'Lost' ... it was really smart the way they did that victory lap, the way they constructed it," Lee says. "They didn't just walk off, and people went 'What?' I've done that in my life, where you don't know and as an executive you make a decision at the end of the season. I would hope with that either of them, or with any of our big franchises, some of them [we] can actually plan to have a great end to them."
Rhimes herself discussed the idea of an end date for "Grey's" with Deadline Hollywood on Monday. She doesn't have a timeframe in mind, she says, "But come on, it's going to end at some point. I don't want my daughter running the show."
Lee also says that both Rhimes and Cherry have new projects in the works for ABC. The network has already ordered Rhimes' script about a crisis-management firm to pilot and is awaiting a script for Cherry's next project.