It's been 26 years since Marc Cherry started working in network television as an assistant to Dixie Carter on Designing Women. And in more than the quarter-century that's followed, he wrote for The Golden Girls, created Desperate Housewives, and these days, he's finishing up the second season of Devious Maids, his Lifetime series about Beverly Hills housekeepers who have just as many skeletons in their closets as their bosses do.
"I went a whole year without the slightest bit of tension, and it was so lovely, I can't even begin to tell you," Cherry said of working with Devious actresses Susan Lucci, Roselyn Sanchez, Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Grant Show, Judy Reyes, and Rebecca Wisocky.
But it hasn't always been so easy. The Desperate Housewives cast — Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, and Nicollette Sheridan — found themselves the subjects of countless tabloid stories — and one dismissed lawsuit — over the show's eight-year run throughout the early '00s.
"I learned a lot from Desperate Housewives, both good and bad," Cherry said. "I am thankful for the experience, but let me tell you: It was its own kind of boot camp. I made some mistakes. Sometimes, I guessed right; other times, I guessed wrong. But I grew a lot as a human being and as a showrunner."
Below, Cherry shares 11 of the biggest lessons learned throughout his Golden, Desperate, and Devious years in Hollywood.