ABC's 'Desperate Housewives' draws bouquets, brickbats

MUMBAI: It may be turning into a much needed hit for Disney's ABC in the US but the new show Desperate Housewives is not entirely having things its own way.

The show has been criticised by a leading conservative group for portraying motherhood as a "worthless chore."

This has led to a few advertisers pulling the plug. Reports indicate that thousands of members of the American Family Association had flooded five of the primetime soap's advertisers with e-mails and phone calls protesting their sponsorship of the show about despairing suburban housewives, say media reports.

As a result Kelloggs, meat processor Tyson Foods and home improvement chain Lowe's have pulled ads of the show. A Tyson spokesperson was quoted in a statement saying: "The show is not consistent with our core values, which focus on operating with integrity and trust in all we do."

ABC however is not too worried. Since its premiere last month it stormed the ratings and come in at number four in the US ratings, securing more than 22 million viewers. A 30-second television spot on the channel has roughly doubled to $300,000.

The show explores the secret lives of suburbanites from the vantage point of a housewife who just committed suicide. It is the highest-rated new series on American television this season. The show is number two in the 18 - 49 demographic. It stars Teri Hatcher who played the Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, say the reports.

Channel 4 and sister channel E4 had secured the UK rights to the drama series earlier this year, after outbidding Five.

ABC meanwhile has given a vote of confidence to the show by ordering five more episodes of Desperate Housewives, a couple of days ago. The show marks the first prime-time drama hit for ABC since the action packed Alias in 2001. In India Alias airs on AXN.

Another report states that television drama executives have made a u-turn by adding a few more quirky female dramas to their lineup. Studios are taking a second glance at projects that were earlier rejected. The hope is to have some of the elements that is making Desperate Housewives a hit.

A similar thing happened after CBS' CSI and Law & Order proved successful. Suddenly there was and still is interest in procedural dramas and law stories.

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