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May 23, 2005

More Desperate Housewives? Laura Bush to Guest on Hit Show Next Season

Lbush_thumbIf producers of ABC's Emmy-nominated show "Desperate Housewives" get their way, the ladies of Wisteria Lane could be getting a new neighbor—or at least a visit from the famous resident of another tastefully decorated house. First Lady Laura Bush is reportedly in negotiations to make several cameo appearances on the show's second season.

Pro-family group says show's Emmy nod showcases Hollywood's polluted values

By Russell D'Arby, arts and entertainment correspondent

Desperate_lauraHOLLYWOOD, CA—Forget the Emmy nods. The producers of Desperate Housewives have something big to celebrate these days: a new neighbor—or at least an occasional visit from the famous resident of another tastefully decorated house

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ABC executives are reportedly in negotiations with First Lady Laura Bush for a series of cameo appearances when the hit show begins its second season in the fall. While the popular First Lady regularly appears on interview shows and recently 'came out' as a stand-up comedienne, her appearances on "Desperate Housewives" will mark her first venture into dramatic television.

The newest neighbor

When Mrs. Bush makes what is expected to be a string of guest appearances on the top-rated show, she will join a select group of celebrities who've angled for—and gotten—an invitation to spend time with the infamous ladies of Wisteria Lane. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is also expected to guest star next season, while actresses from "Sex in the City's" Kristen Davis to Halle Berry are said to be angling for the coveted invite.

A controversial cameo?

PtcIf capturing a guest spot represents a major coup for the First Lady, some political observers are already cautioning that the acting spot could cost her points with her conservative Christian fans. While "Desperate Housewives" is as popular among 'values viewers' as it is among non-believers and gays, pro-family groups including the Parents Television Council and the American Decency Association have called the show 'degraded' and pressured advertising to pull their ads.

New conservative plotlines
In exchange for Mrs. Bush's high-profile visits to Wisteria Lane, producers are said to be exploring several new plotlines intended to appeal to conservative Christian viewers. One likely subplot: a religious conversion by Bree Van De Kamp's pharmacist lover, played by Roger Bart. In focus groups, conservative viewers gave low marks to the character played by Marcia Cross for engaging in an adulterous affair. But the traditionalist viewers warmed to Ms. Van De Kamp and her lover George in a subplot that has the pharmacist refusing to prescribe birth control pills to local ladies, citing religious reasons.

Communicard_1Producers are also said to be planning to 'put the screws' to character Carlos Solis, the husband of Gabrielle Solis, played by Eva Longoria. All season, Mr. Solis confronted escalating legal problems after he knowingly hired illegal immigrants, another hot-button issue with values viewers.   

First Lady a big fan
While Mrs. Bush has yet to make official announcement about her cameo role, sources close to the First Lady say that she's very excited about making the transition from spokes-model to full-fledged actress. "This is one of her favorite shows and she is just thrilled that the producers have asked her to be part of it," said the source, noting that the newly stylish Mrs. Bush is especially eager to work with acclaimed costume designer Catherine Adair, who dresses the show's four stars, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher.

What 'housewife' would you most like to see First Lady Laura Bush befriend? Talk back to russdarb@yahoo.com.

May 23, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

"Desperate Housewives" may be late to the game.

According to my sources, the WB Channel has already approached the President's people to discuss a reality show concept tentatively named "White House MILF".

Posted by: CryptoCat | May 23, 2005 09:33 AM

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