ABC's latest attempt to fill the "Desperate Housewives" void is "Mistresses," debuting this summer. It's based on a six-episode BBC show but in the U.S. version, "we have familiar sign posts who loved the BBC version" but viewers will also "be very surprised" by the differences, said EP K.J. Steinberg.
It stars Alyssa Milano ("Savi" Davis) as a Type A attorney who has a one-night stand and is trying to have a baby with her adorable Aussie husband. Adultery is a theme that carries through into the lives of her girlfriends, too: Yunjin Kim (Karen Kim) and Rochelle Aytes (April Malloy). Savi's free-spirited sister, Jes Macallan (Josslyn Carver), gets the best lines of the bunch.
"The friendships binding these women...are fun," Steinberg said. Milano called the women's friendship "the core of the show."
The U.S. version of "Mistresses," shot in sunny L.A., is lighter in tone than the British version, which was done "for shockingly low money," EP Bob Sertner said.
"In a six episode BBC window you can get away with darker choices," Sertner added. For the U.S. version's 13 episode, there was a need to lighten it up.
"The way the material is treated -- it's not glib and it's not a bunch of ladies whoring around," EP Rina Mimoun ("Everwood") said. "All of these women, it's one mistake for each of them that has snowballed into a bigger mess."