ABC’s sudsy new series Mistresses is not Desperate Housewives — but it does have some things in common with the dearly departed soap.
Based on a British series of the same name, Mistresses – which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. — centers around four friends (including Charmed star Alyssa Milano and Lost’s Yunjin Kim) who find themselves entangled in not so wholesome — and, in some cases, even illicit — relationships. At the center of the series is Milano’s Savi, a (mostly) happily married lawyer who has an impulsive one-night stand with her long-time co-worker. “I look at Savi as being a really good person who makes a really bad decision and then sort of has to deal with the repercussions of that,” says Milano, who explains that Savi’s life will take a devastating turn as the series progresses. “It’s not only the potential end of her marriage, but also her friendships. She becomes very alone.”
Milano says she wants viewers to relate to — or at least understand — Savi’s troubles, though she admits it’s not exactly easy convincing people to root for a character who cheats on her husband. “The biggest challenge was making her likable,” she says. “In certain scenes, I actually chose to overcompensate and make her super likable because I felt that it was important.”
The actress, who starred in the short-lived Fox series Breaking In last year, is hoping the series breaks out with fans. “I had done a pilot every single year since Charmed has been off the year,” says Milano. “It’s such a crapshoot.”