|Created by||Tiffany Ballou
|Directed by||James Abbadi
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Massey
|Running time||60 mins (inc. adverts)|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||28 November 2011– 16 January 2012|
Desperate Scousewives was a British scripted-reality television series based in Liverpool. It premiered on E4 at 10:00pm on 28 November 2011. It ran for eight episodes before being cancelled due to stagnating ratings and a perceived lack of interest in cast members from viewers. The show gained favourable viewing figures for its first episode, debuting with 500,000 viewers, 24% up on the E4 channel's slot average. However, episodes for the rest of the series were regularly below this figure and outside of the E4 top-10 weekly rankings.
The show's name is a play on words of the American comedy-drama Desperate Housewives and was said to be "Liverpool's answer to The Only Way Is Essex and Made in Chelsea". Repeats began airing on 4Music from 26 April 2012, sparking speculation from cast members that it may be a test run to recommission a new series on 4Music instead of E4. However, E4 reaffirmed their decision several times about the show's cancellation via their official Twitter page despite cast members continually claiming that a second series is in production.
Liverpool, the Pool of Life, centre of the universe, no contest. Why live anywhere else when you've got it all here? The amazing buildings, the brilliant shops, the coolest nightlife and music - we invented that and all you know. Chop us in half and we've got Scouser written all the way through us. We're loud and we're proud, it must be something that they put in that water, the Mersey that is. This is Liverpool and these are our very real stories.— Jodie Lundstram, in the opening scene
When Desperate Scousewives debuted, E4 described it as: "Meet the strong, independent women who quite literally run this town, looking to make a name for themselves in the city famous for its big personalities, big dreams, and even bigger hair. In a world revolving around football, fierce fashion, and that famous WAG style, Scouse girls and boys are all about having a boss night out on the town. But looking good is a 24/7 job as the ladies dress to impress to bag themselves the man of their dreams. The next generation of Liverpudlians determined to show the UK just what they're all about. Behind the blonde hair, 'Scouse eyebrows', football matches and club nights are real guys and girls determined to make a name for themselves, work hard and achieve a dream no matter how big or small. The girls spend every hard earned penny making sure they stand out from the crowd. And the boys of Liverpool have to work hard to keep up with them, woo them, and win their hearts. But they're not adverse [sic] to a bit of Premiership style preening themselves; some of Liverpool's most handsome and sought-after guys are pros at living a footballer's lifestyle, even if it is just off the pitch."
The reaction to Desperate Scousewives was largely negative and prompted strong criticism from both the mainstream media and audiences alike. On social networking site Twitter, local Liverpudlians claimed that the show's cast were not representative of Liverpool and that they exploited it purely for entertainment purposes, as, despite its title, many cast members are not married and some did not even originate from Liverpool. The content of the show was also criticised heavily as being scripted and devoid of plot or substance and produced simply to establish a show based upon Merseyside following the format of other successful regional 'structured reality' shows such as The Only Way Is Essex, Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore.
Panned by critics, Keith Watson of Metro described Desperate Scousewives as "depressing viewing" adding that the show "simply takes the TOWIE template up the Mersey Tunnel, at the bleached bottom end of which you’ll find the most depressing bunch of faked-up, vacuous wannabes we've suffered since, well... the last of these unreal reality shows was launched. Five minutes in the company of Amanda, Joe, Layla and poison blogger Jaiden, and my faith in human nature was hitting zero. Not one of them can hold a conversation that’s not about themselves. They all live in a toxic, self-absorbed bubble. And they’re not even funny." Television critic and columinst Ian Hyland of the Daily Mail also criticised the show, claiming that "even the best actors in the world couldn’t fake these levels of empty-headed, fame-hungry idiocy".
Desperate Scousewives gained favourable viewing figures for its first episode debuting with 500,000 viewers, 24% up on the E4 channel's slot average. However, episodes for the rest of the series were regularly below this figure and outside of the E4 Top 10 weekly rankings.
|Episode no.||Air date||Total viewers||E4 weekly ranking||References|
|1||28 November 2011||Over 500,000||Outside Top 10|||
|2||5 December 2011||655,000||8|||
|3||12 December 2011||Under 548,000||Outside Top 10|||
|4||19 December 2011||Under 553,000||Outside Top 10|||
|5||26 December 2011||Under 516,000||TBA|||
|6||2 January 2012||Under 554,000||Outside Top 10|||
|7||9 January 2012||Under 612,000||Outside Top 10|||
|8||16 January 2012||Under 587,000||Outside Top 10|||
On 2 February 2012, E4 executive producers announced that they would not recommission Desperate Scousewives for a second series. A show insider claimed that "We had hoped Desperate Scousewives would really give TOWIE a run for its money, but sadly that's not been the case. For whatever reason people have just not warmed to the characters and there hasn't been a great buzz. Made in Chelsea, on the other hand, is really popular. People seem fascinated by their posh lives."
|Main Cast member||Age||Occupation|
|Amanda Harrington||30||Model, appeared in the Hot Shots Calendar|
|Jodie Lundstram||24||Beautician, creator of the 'scouse brow'|
|Debbie O'Toole||26||Model, former Miss Liverpool, younger sister of Gill|
|Gill O'Toole||30||Older sister of Debbie|
|Joe McMahon||28||Club promoter|
|Jaiden Micheal||29||Celebrity blogger|
|Chris Johnson||27||Salon owner and husband of Mark|
|Mark Johnson||25||Salon owner and husband of Chris|
|Supporting Cast member||Age||Occupation|
|Chloe Cummings||20||Part-time nurse, model and cousin of Sean|
|Sam Wooley||20||Student and Kate Middleton lookalike|
|Adam Ramsey||28||Property manager|
|Sean Clancy||24||Footballer and brother of Abbey Clancy|
|Keely Lundstram||33||Public Relations manager and cousin of Jodie|
|Steven Dermott||30||Personal Trainor and love interest of Elissa|
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- "Desperate Scousewives - Starts Monday on E4". YouTube. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
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- Plunkett, John (29 November 2011). "Desperate Scousewives debuts with more than 500,000 viewers". The Guardian. London.
- "Desperate Scousewives: Meet the cast of Liverpool's answer to TOWIE". 15 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
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- Dawn Collinson (5 December 2011). "Liverpool-born Desperate Scousewives producer Mal Young defends show as 'slice of Liverpool life' in face of fierce criticism". liverpoolecho.
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- Hyland, Ian. "Have Mersey on us". Daily Mail. London.
- "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
- Magrath, Andrea (1 February 2012). "Channel 4 not Desperate for a second series of Scousewives as it's rumoured show is axed after just one season". Daily Mail. London.