By Sabrina Ford
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For eight years, the women of Wisteria Lane battled alcoholism, cancer, cheating husbands and direct attempts on their lives, but in the TV series finale on Sunday, four "Desperate Housewives" lived a fairy tale ending.
"This street is a lot of things. Boring is not one of them," Teri Hatcher's Susan Delfino told the new owner of her home as she packed up and said goodbye to her infamous street as the ghosts of Wisteria Lane looked on.
Fans didn't see what lies ahead for Susan, but they did catch glimpses into the future of her three best friends, Marcia Cross's Bree Van de Kamp, Eva Longoria's Gabrielle Solis and Felicity Hoffman's Lynette Scavo. The ladies are no longer desperate, having found personal and professional success.
After being exonerated on murder charges, cookbook mogul Bree finds love with her unreasonably kind lawyer, moves to the south and becomes a politician.
Gabrielle is relieved that neither Bree nor her husband Carlos (the real killer) went to prison for murdering the stepfather who abused her as a child. In the future, she runs a successful shopping website, and she and Carlos move to a California mansion.
Lynette's happy ending sees her back together with husband Tom and moving to New York, where Lynette becomes a CEO, and years into the future, plays in Central Park with her grandkids.
When "Desperate Housewives," created by "Golden Girls" writer Mark Cherry, premiered in 2004, it helped rejuvenate ABC, resuscitate Teri Hatcher's career and prove that viewers would tune into TV to watch women over 40-years-old in leading roles.
The show was an instant hit with audiences and critics, averaging more than 20 million viewers an episode and being called "the best new drama of the season and perhaps the best new comedy, too," by the Washington Post.
In the years since, the show has experienced its highs and lows. This season, it averaged just over 8 million viewers. Of the seven Emmys the show won, six were in the first year.
Sunday's final episode was filled with emotional moments including Susan's daughter Julie and Lynette's son Porter welcoming a baby. The women of Wisteria Lane also said goodbye to elderly neighbor Karen McCluskey who died of cancer shortly after taking the wrap in Bree's murder trial.
Dana Delany, who appeared in seasons four through six as Katherine Mayfair, returned to offer Lynette the job that inspired her move to New York, and Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams) also found a happy ending when she married her dashing Australian boyfriend.
But over the years, the show's storylines weren't all so nice. They included one betrayal after another, and dramatic events like murder, freak accidents and natural disasters were commonplace.
At times, the behind-the-scenes drama has rivaled that of the scandal-plagued Wisteria Lane. In season six, Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt was electrocuted when her car crashed into a telephone pole.
Sheridan filed a lawsuit against ABC alleging Marc Cherry struck her during an argument and then killed off her character. In March a judge declared a mistrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict. A retrial is set for September.
In 2005, the cast clashed on the set of a Vanity Fair magazine cover shoot, and even in recent weeks talk of a rift between Hatcher and her cast mates persist.
Unfortunately, "Desperate Housewives" isn't actually filmed on the fictional Wisteria Lane. If it were, we could count on a happy ending.
(Reporting by Sabrina Ford; Editing By Bob Tourtellotte)