'Desperate Housewives' Says Goodbye With a Wisteria Lane Block Party

7:34 PM PST 09/22/2011 by Jethro Nededog
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"I love that we had this party here tonight to kind of celebrate the beginning of the end," Eva Longoria tells THR at the event.

ABC threw a block party on the Wisteria Lane set at Universal Studios Hollywood on Wednesday to kick off the Desperate Housewives final season, which premieres this Sunday. Lots of familiar faces attended including four of the five leads, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams and Eva Longoria.

“I love doing parties on The Lane,” Longoria tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Because nobody gets to be here where we film. And it’s such a beautiful street, a beautiful set.”

“I don’t know what they’re going to do with it when we’re gone,” she continues. “I can’t even think of anyone else filming on it. I might cry. It means someone might be living in my house. And so I love that we had this party here tonight to kind of celebrate the beginning of the end.”

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Teri Hatcher was noticeably absent from the festivities. According to her publicist, “Teri had a longstanding previous commitment with her daughter. She was sorry to miss the party, but her family comes first.”

The event was a good chance for Brenda Strong, who plays Mary Alice, and whose narrating of the show occurs in a studio, to reconnect with her colleagues.

“I look forward to seeing the people I don’t always get to spend time with,” says Strong, who will be returning on-screen to be part of Season 8’s big mystery. “It’s nice to see the crew and all the people who have been so supportive of us.”

Guests were provided shuttles from the parking garage to the actual Wisteria Lane set. And it was really a nice decision by ABC to throw it there. As the shuttle -- filled with a mix of media, crew, actors, and executives -- ascended up the windy hill road to the set, there was definitely a growing feeling of anticipation among the riders. Those feelings were not for nothing. When the houses of Wisteria Lane began to appear over the hill, several riders let out audible gasps.

After the first view of The Lane -- which has also been used on Leave It To Beaver, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in the film, Gremlins – guests came up on the red carpet with the step and repeat emblazoned with ABC and the show’s logo and the playful phrase, “Kiss them goodbye.”

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Beyond that sat Gaby’s home immediately to the left with its trademark bright yellow exterior, Susan’s much more country kitsch home, and on down the line. Visitors were invited to tour the inside of the houses with one exception: Williams’ character Renee’s home was off-limits, because everything in there is stark white. And Bree’s home was open to the public, but it was just a facade as it housed the restrooms.

The party basically took up the length of The Lane with five sitting areas outfitted with high backed loveseats and tables with the image of one of the housewives hanging on its back wall. In the middle of The Lane sat a generously stocked full bar with large glass vases filled with the show’s trademark red apples.

At the end was a deejay spinning pop music and a dance floor, which fascinated the young stars of the show most, which included the actresses who play Gaby’s kids, Madison De La Garza and Daniella Baltodano; the actors who play Lynette’s kids, eldest twins Max and Charlie CarverJosh Moore, and Darcy Rose Byrnes; as well as Susan’s young son MJ, actor Mason Vale Cotton.

As for food, it was hit and miss with the catered Italian-American comfort food theme, which included pasta, pork and chicken-apple sausages, a widely appreciated mac and cheese dish, a quiche, and a few salad choices. It was the dessert table that shined with small delicate cupcakes, chocolate pieces, and nut-covered nougat.

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At about 10 p.m., the deejay called last call and the guests began to shuffle back to the shuttles. We shared ours with Kevin Rahm, who will be reprising his role as Lee on the last season (though he’s currently a regular on Fox’s new fall comedy, I Hate My Teenage Daughter). And right before the shuttle was ready to leave, showrunner Bob Daily -- who’s credited for keeping the series on the rails for several seasons -- jumped on. Rahm and others welcomed him by chanting his name several times. And that seemed like a fitting end to the party as the shuttle descended back down the hill to reality.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro

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