Sheridan moving from Wisteria Lane

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First Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight might be leaving "Grey's Anatomy." Now Nicollette Sheridan is exiting "Desperate Housewives."

Yet the behind-the-scenes story emerging is of two different situations.

"Grey's" castmates Heigl and Knight have grumbled about their contractual frustrations to the media before, and this week co-star James Pickens Jr. claimed that the duo were off the show.

Sources said Pickens' comment was premature. There are ongoing discussions about Heigl's and Knight's futures with the show, and nothing has been decided. Some sort of exit seems likely, but it might not be this season.

Over on "Housewives," the departure of Sheridan is said to be a creative decision. Creator Marc Cherry wanted a game-changing incident like last year's five-year time leap and scripted the exit of character Edie Britt. Sheridan has been at the center of some drama on the set in the past, but sources say her behavior has improved.

"It would have been a really great surprise," bemoaned one source.

The stakes are high for ABC. "Grey's" and "Housewives" are the network's top two dramas, and both have suffered some loss of viewership. Cast departures could impact the shows' performances next season. But at least in the case of "Housewives," the captain appears to be steering the ship rather than having to put down a mutiny. (partialdiff)
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