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ABC's ''Desperate Housewives'' returns from hiatus

ABC’s ”Desperate Housewives” returns from hiatus — New episode airs March 27 after six-week break

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Desperate for a fresh Housewives fix? The four-week wait is over — ABC will resume airing new episodes of the soap on March 27. And no, the network wasn’t trying to torture us. ”Housewives was preempted for little things like the Academy Awards,” says Jeff Bader, ABC’s exec VP of programming. ”It just feels long because the show’s so popular, and there are so many lingering mysteries.” (And, of course, new episodes will come in handy during May sweeps.) Although the mini-seasons of HBO dramas and reality TV have created audiences who expect and reward weekly gratification — Fox and ABC have revived ratings for 24 and Alias, respectively, with shortened seasons and repeat-free runs — ABC plans to stretch out Housewives and its other serialized megahit, Lost, with CliffsNotes-style clip specials in April. So is there any chance of ever getting more than a standard season’s 24 new Housewives episodes with fewer reruns? ”I wish,” Bader says. ”I’ll take as many as they can possibly produce.”