TV Article

Grave Situation

''Housewives'' snips quip after Pope's demise. Bree's line in Sunday's episode about Catholic mourners was hastily redubbed out of sensitivity to the dying John Paul II and his followers

Sharp-eyed Desperate Housewives viewers may have noticed a difference between Bree's line during Mama Solis' lavish funeral (''You have to hand it to Gabby and Carlos, they do grief better than anyone'') and the words actually formed by Marcia Cross' lips. Turns out the original line — ''You have to hand it to the Catholics, they do grief better than anyone'' — had been hastily redubbed over the weekend as Pope John Paul II lay dying.

''We got a phone call from ABC Friday evening asking about the line,'' executive producer Michael Edelstein told the New York Daily News. ''In light of world events, we felt we should be more sensitive. We were happy to go in and make a last-second fix.'' Since Cross was unavailable, producers spliced in a previously recorded sound bite of Bree's mention of ''Gabby and Carlos'' in another context. ''It was a little slapdash,'' Edelstein said, but ''these were extraordinary circumstances. This is about respect for an individual, in respect for a religion.''

Looks like the ploy worked. If anyone did take offense, it wasn't apparent in the show's ratings; according to Nielsen, 24.4 million viewers tuned in, and 18.2 million were still tuned in to ABC for new follow-up series Grey's Anatomy.

Originally posted Apr 05, 2005