Contradicting previous testimony that the decision to kill off Nicolette Sheridan's "Desperate Housewives" character came in May 2008, former show writer Jeffrey Greenstein said that the matter was still up for debate going into 2009.
Taking the stand Friday during the trial for Sheridan's $6 million wrongful termination claim against ABC and "Housewives" creator Marc Cherry, Greenstein said that, throughout writers' meetings in October, November and December 2008, the matter of character Edie Britt's death was still being wrestled with.
"Creatively, does this make sense for us?" Greenstein remembers the writers asking. He also said that Cherry was "not totally at rest" with the decision to kill off Sheridan's character.
Asked how he knew that Cherry wasn't at rest with the decision, Greenstein cited the ongoing discussions, plus the fact that Cherry did not discourage the discussions, and that the episode in which Britt met her demise hadn't been made yet.
During earlier testimony Friday, former ABC president Steve McPherson told the court that Cherry announced that he wanted Britt killed off during a May 2008 meeting.
In her suit, Sheridan claims that she was fired from "Housewives" in retaliation for reporting a September 2008 incident on the "Housewives" set during which Cherry allegedly struck her. During testimony, Sheridan characterized the strike as "a nice wallop," while Cherry maintains he was merely trying to give the actress stage direction.
On cross-examination, Greenstein was asked about his close friendship with Sheridan, and the fact that, having been reduced to a part-time schedule, and wouldn't have been present for all of the writers' meetings.
Greenstein replied that he found it doubtful that such a big decision would have been made without him catching wind of it.