Eva Longoria on the End of 'Desperate Housewives': "Television is All About the Next, New, Best Thing"

It looks like the ladies of Wisteria Lane may have reached the end of their road. We're sad to say that it looks as though ABC will announce this weekend at the Television Critics Association's press tour that the 8th season (currently in production) will be the last for long-running Desperate Housewives. Castmembers are being told about the end of the series, and Deadline.com is reporting that Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Eva Longoria are surprised and saddened to hear the news. It's only natural for the cast to be shocked, especially since series creator Marc Cherry expected the show to run through nine seasons, it was the most-watched comedy series internationally in 2010, and ABC's third-highest revenue earning show.

We caught up with our favorite wife, Eva Longoria (aka Gabrielle Solis), at the recent National Council of La Raza conference and chatted to her about the show, Latinos on TV and the consistent Emmy snubs of Latina actresses.

Despite an acclaimed season, you were once again snubbed for an Emmy nod and there are just two Latino nominated—Sofia Vergara and Edgar Ramirez. What’s it going to take for Latinos to get more Emmy love?
I don’t know how else to say it, but they’re about ratings. So if a Latino or Latina lead is not on a hit show that is critically acclaimed, there are many obstacles for an actor of whatever color to be nominated. I think the biggest lesson for viewers and Latina’s readers is that if you’re not watching the shows, then you cannot complain that we’re not getting nominated. There was a reason that The George Lopez Show got cancelled: It didn’t have ratings and now it’s doing so well in syndication. And yet we have over 50 million Latinos in the United States that should have been watching The George Lopez Show. It’s the same with Latino films like Home For the Holidays, with John Leguizamo. It did not do well in theaters because Latinos did not go out and support it. Yet 30 percent of the audience of Pirates of the Caribbean was Latino. So if people want to see more diversity reflected in television and film, you have to support it.
Your breakthrough in Desperate Housewives was a big moment for Latinos on television. How would you characterize the state of diversity on television since then?
It has gotten better, but we take one step forward, two steps back. We have a character like mine and Lauren Velez’s [police Lt. Laguerta on Dexter]—these bright, smart women. Gabrielle was the richest person on the block. She doesn’t speak with an accent. Lauren Velez is a police chief who is doing amazing work. And then you have Sofia Vergara, who is the stereotypical Latina [Gloria on Modern Family] and she does it beautifully. It’s important that there those roles, because they all exist in our community. It’s a balance. So I think we’re slowly inching toward progress.
There has been talk that the upcoming season of Desperate Housewives may be its last. True?
Well, we’ve just started filming our new season; it’s exciting to be back. But beyond that, we don’t know because it’s all about ratings. Television is all about the next new best thing. But I’m going to be with this job as long as it will go.