Continued from page 1

In addition, Levin noted that two of Sheridan’s key witnesses, both former writers on the show, disagreed on when discussions began about ditching the character. Jeff Greenstein said the talks began a month or two before Sheridan and Cherry had their dispute in September 2008, while Lori Kirkland Baker said no discussion occurred until December 2008.

During that same month, a human resources investigation cleared Cherry of wrongdoing in his dispute with Sheridan.

Baute said Baker’s testimony was a key to showing a conspiracy existed.

“One or two quality witnesses (are) better than five or 10 people who are spinning, finessing or lying,” Baute said.

Sheridan’s case initially included a battery claim, but the judge ruled Tuesday that jurors will no longer be asked to consider that allegation.

“Desperate Housewives” was a ratings powerhouse in its early years, but has seen its audience dwindle. The show is in its eighth and final season.

___

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

___

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP