On the dusty expanse of suburbia that is Wisteria Lane, Vanessa Williams is ready to duel at 40 paces.
Desperate Housewives has always relied on a fun, trouble-making foil to shake up the staid suburban lives of the women of Wisteria Lane — think Edie, Mrs. Huber, Karl, may they all rest in peace. This season, ABC has employed a Wild West theme to announce the arrival of Renee Perry (Williams), who'll try on a (very chic) black hat. Executive producer Bob Daily introduces us to Renee, and tells us what all the other ladies — and at least one familiar gentleman — will deal with this season.
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Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams)
Renee is Lynette's college roommate who's in the process of divorcing a professional baseball player. The old friends share a loving, though competitive friendship. But since Renee is played by the Artist Formerly Known as Ugly Betty's Wilhelmina Slater, she's also no stranger to a little deviousness. "She's come from New York and a very glamorous life and she moves to the suburbs, so she gets a little bored," Daily says. "So messing with people has become her hobby."
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While Renee will initially spar only with Lynette about their very different paths in life, Daily says that eventually, Renee will insinuate herself elsewhere. "We're getting her tangled up with all the other women," he says. "She's the new gunslinger in town," keeping with his network's theme.
Paul Young (Mark Moses)
Paul Young, the widower of the tragic Mary Alice, has been freed from prison after being wrongfully being convicted for the murder of Felicia Tilman. He's served 10 years of hard time, and his former neighbors have a lot of explaining to do. "He is a little miffed that when he was arrested and sent off to jail in Season 2, nobody on Wisteria Lane supported him, nobody came to visit him," Daily explains. "While they all loved Mary-Alice, they didn't love him so much."
While Daily states flatly that Paul is back bent on revenge, his own life will be somewhat complicated along the way. For one, he's married — to Beth (Emily Bergl), a woman he met while in the slammer, and their union is not without its hitches. "He's thrilled to be out of prison and thinking, 'Great, now I can have a real-life relationship with my wife,'" Daily says. "And she's thinking, 'Oh no, I thought he was going to be in prison for the rest of his life, I didn't realize I would ever have to have a real relationship with him.'" Further, Beth has a secret, and it's something she really should have mentioned before saying "I do."
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Meanwhile, stewing in her own jail cell, Felicia Tilman (Harriet Sansom Harris) may have been unsuccessful at faking her own death, but she still has a plan to prove that Paul killed her sister Martha, or at least hold him responsible. "She is not happy that Paul Young is out," Daily says. "She thinks that he should still have to pay for what he did, so she will use allies [on Wisteria Lane] to do that."
Bree (Marcia Cross)
Bree will be dealing with the dissolution of her marriage from Orson (Kyle MacLachlan)... by moving on. "Episode 1 is Bree's farewell to Orson," Daily says, adding that the door has been left open for MacLachlan to return.
She's also bidding farewell to her company, which she surrendered to Rex's blackmailing son Sam. But Daily says her joblessness will be the catalyst for the next stage in her life. "Bree's work was almost more psychologically fulfilling rather than that she needed the money," he says. "She had two very wealthy husbands and a successful business; I think she's going to be fine for a while."
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Instead, she turns her attentions to remodeling her house, a job for which she enlists a young contractor (Brian Austin Green). In a twist, he'll actually be her love interest as well. "He's really unlike Bree's typical guy. He's blue-collar, a little earthier," Daily says. But they'll overcome their differences in the bedroom, he says. "They have a very passionate love life."
Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker)
Gaby and Carlos Solis, in their special way, will have dueling secrets this season. After Bree tells Gaby about Andrew's role in Carlos' mother's death, Gaby has a very characteristic, self-centered reaction. "She's like, 'Why did you tell me? Now I have this burden, this secret that I have to keep,'" Daily says. A now-cleanshaven Carlos will be keeping something equally as devastating from Gaby — at least initially. But that's all Daily will say about it for now.
Lynette (Felicity Huffman)
"[Lynette is] adapting to life as a mom of both a college-aged kid and an infant," Daily says. Returning to work will pose a particular challenge: child-care. Fortunately, she's had a house-full of babysitters. "She realizes that having so many children means that the older ones can help raise the younger ones," Daily says. Predictably, her attempts to mold Penny into a free nanny fail — with hilarious results.
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In the midst of this chaos, she'll also be having houseguests. After the aforementioned Hurricane Renee, Tom's mom (Lois Smith) will arrive to help with the baby, but will end up needing some assistance herself.
Susan (Teri Hatcher)
Susan and Mike's money problems will continue throughout the season. They've rented their house — to Paul Young — and moved into a small apartment across town. "Her drive this season is to get back to the Lane, and the life she loves and her friends," Daily says. "We are going to let her getting a little desperate this season."
Her desperation will lead her to make a shocking career choice, with some help from her ebullient landlady, Maxine (Lainie Kazan). Maxine owns what Daily very carefully calls "an Internet-based business that's a little dark and shady." Susan will of course keep the new job, which gives Hatcher many opportunities for physical comedy, a secret from her friends and family. "It [is] hilarious; it's a great fit for her," Daily says.
Desperate Housewives premieres Sunday at 9/8c on ABC.