ABC is ready to leave Wisteria Lane. The upcoming eighth season of Desperate Housewives will be its last, a source confirms.
ABC will make the official announcement Sunday during the network's fall TV previews and is currently in the process of notifying the cast, according to Deadline, which first reported the news.
News of the prime-time soap's impending demise comes as a surprise: Creator and executive producer Marc Cherry has said publicly that he wanted the show to last nine seasons. The main cast, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria, also recently negotiated new contracts with ABC Studios that would last through this season and next. And while not the ratings powerhouse it once was, the show still averages a respectable 11.8 million viewers. (Desperate Housewives premiered in 2004 to 21.3 million viewers and averaged 23.6 million viewers in its first season.)
At the same time, Cherry has stepped down as showrunner to focus on developing other projects, including the pilot Hallelujah, which was not picked up to series at ABC, but is being redeveloped.
ABC declined to comment.