New “Direction” For Lifetime’s “Devious Maids”

Eva Longoria Makes TV Series Directing Debut 

Devious Maids returns Sundays beginning April 20th on Lifetime.

Lifetime Television’s Devious Maids – a sojourn within the lives of five feisty and
beautiful Latina working women who toil away for the rich-and-famous – is about to begin shooting its second season on location in Atlanta, Georgia. But that did not stop creator/executive producer Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) and his cast of series regulars to stop off at the Television Critics Association (TCA) gathering in Pasadena last week to bring the TV press up-to-date on next season’s shenanigans.

“I have to say I am still a bit surprised by all this,” admits Cherry. “When ABC passed on this show two years back, I would have bet this show would never be made, let alone the success it has had on Lifetime. They bought it a year and a half ago and following its premiere, we became the fastest‑growing show in Lifetime’s history.  We are No. 1 ‑‑ so they tell me — No. 1 with women on Sunday nights in all of cable.

“We are getting ready to start our second season.  We begin shooting on Wednesday, and Eva Longoria, who is my producing partner on this, will be directing her first episode of television ever.  After eight years of training, I told her it was time, and she is out there right now.  That’s why she’s not here today.  She’s out prepping the episode, having the time of her life.”

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The Devious Maids on the TCA panel

When Longoria takes up her position behind the camera, she’ll be guiding the performances of the six women who where on hand at the panel, including Dania Ramirez (Rosie Falta), Roselyn Sanchez (Carmen Luna), Judy Reyes (Zoila Diaz), Edy Ganem (Valentina Diaz), Ana Ortiz (Marisol Duarte) and Susan Lucci (Genevieve Delatura). Cherry even alludes to the strong possibility that Longoria will also have a guest star role in some future episode but declines to give out any further information.

What Cherry does reveal is the future of Ana Ortiz’s Marisol, who was left on a kind of cliff-hangar at the end of season one. “When I first wrote the pilot, I chose to introduce Marisol as a woman on a mission, and I knew that would play great for the first season; but the question was what to do about Marisol after that mission was revealed. So I knew before I even started the first season that, in the second season, Marisol marries a rich man, and she has a devious maid working for her.  So she becomes one of the employers.”

“I’m moving on up”, Ortiz exclaims. “I was worried about it, too, to be perfectly honest.  I was, like, Wait. If I’m not a maid anymore, what’s going to happen?

Fellow cast member Ramirez actually looks surprised at her producer’s revelation. “Does that mean that we get to have a rich friend now, a real rich friend?

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(L-R) Roselyn Sancez, Edy Ganem, Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez & Judy Reyes

The cast members have learned from speaking to real-life maids that pretty much anything their characters have experienced on the show is not beyond the experiences that many domestic workers have gone through. Ganem recalls, “At last year’s panel, there was a woman who told us that she actually had been a maid, and she experienced some really crazy, out‑there things.  And we weren’t far‑fetched with what was happening on our show.  She even said some of her bosses were really rich.  They would go hunting, and they would have her cleaning the guns and just really crazy stuff.  Everything Marc is writing is right on it.”

Reyes adds, “She actually said it was mellow compared to what actually happens.”

Ramirez recalls, “My first maid in Los Angeles got deported. And I ended up hiring her sister for a while.  I wanted to keep it in the family.

Since Reyes’ character has a daughter, she admits she gets a lot of remarks like – ‘You are just like my mother’ or ‘You are such a terrible mother’. “I get that kind of stuff from a lot of either teenage girls, or 20‑somethings, or from Latina women who have parented, like first‑generation moms and things like that, a lot of women who relate to Zoila’s situation.”

“I have gotten a lot of responses and comment through social media,” says Ganem. “There was specifically one girl who said, ‘I relate to your story because my mom has been a maid for many, many years so that me and my sister can go to college.’  So there’s different ways that everyone relates, including the parents who had to give up their dreams so that their kids could make their dreams come true.”

Inspired by the hit telenovela, Ellas son… la alegría del hogar, Devious Maids is produced by ABC Studios. The series was created by Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) and is executive produced by Cherry, Sabrina Wind (Desperate Housewives), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Paul McGuigan (Scandal), Larry Shuman (Kissing Miranda), David Lonner, John Mass and Televisa USA’s Paul Presburger and Michael Garcia.

HASHTAG:  Television, Latinas, domestics, rich and famous, romance, murder, sex.