Interview: ‘Desperate Housewives’ Executive Producer Jeff Greenstein

Posted on January 4, 2012


For five years Jeff Greenstein has called Desperate Housewives home, and like all good homes, Housewives has provided Greenstein with an abundance of resources to help him grow both individually and professionally. Though the Tufts University graduate had been staffed as a writer on shows previously–Friends and Will & Grace first and foremost–it was the ABC “dramedy” that gave Greenstein an opportunity to pursue an entirely new journey. In 2010, he directed his first television episode, “Excited and Scared,” and has since become a Jeff of all trades with Husbands (in which he also served as a director) and Desperate Housewives‘ final Halloween episode (also in a director capacity). But like all great things, Greenstein’s time on the show has reached a rather satisfying conclusion. With just one week left of work on the series (Greenstein will make a return to direct one more episode), the upbeat executive producer talks with Shane Saunders about this season’s upcoming twists and turns, looking back on a landmark series, and what he will miss most about working on the show. All that and more in the following Desperate Fans’ interview.

Desperate Fans (Shane Saunders): The show was given a heads up this past summer, with ABC announcing that Desperate Housewives would conclude its run this season. Did the advance notice change any of your plans for structuring season eight?

Jeff Greenstein: We had a contingency plan in place, were that the case. It meant that certain things we felt we might do, we actually ended up doing. The way that the mystery was divised this year was deliberately meant to echo the Mary Alice [Brenda Strong] blackmail from Season One. As we were coming up with that idea we were aware of the resonance with Season One and thought that if this is the final year, that will be a very nice way to sort of close the circle. So Bree [Hodge, Marcia Cross] as a character who is closest in tonality to Mary Alice, has suddenly found herself in this similar predicament to what Mary Alice was in during Season One. And ultimately is driven, as you’ve seen, to the brink of suicide by it.

Desperate Housewives (photo: ABC)

Desperate Fans (Shane Saunders): Would you also say that Season Seven was close in comparison to Season One?

To read the interview in its entirety, check out the interview HERE on

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