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Will Edie ever return to Wisteria Lane?

When Edie packed up and left Wisteria Lane at the end of Sunday's “Desperate Housewives,” viewers were caught by surprise. The sudden exit of the neighborhood's blond troublemaker has fans wondering how this plot twist will affect the ABC hit series, and whether Nicollette Sheridan, who has played Edie during its four seasons, will be back.

Creator and executive producer Marc Cherry says yes, Edie's gone. Then he added: “She won't be back for a few years.

What could that mean? Hadn't Cherry already announced he will bring his series to a close at the end of the 2010-11 season, just three years from now?

“I want to be sure that when we leave the air,” he says, “people still care.

But right now, what viewers really care about is Edie's future – if any. Could her return in what Cherry carefully described as “a few years” have anything to do with another recent rumor that the series will adopt a “flash-forward” narrative device (akin to the storytelling style on “Lost”), which could restore Edie to the show as seen a few years hence?

“I only address one rumor at a time,” Cherry replied.

Edie bolted on Sunday's episode when the four main housewives – Susan, Lynette, Bree and Gabrielle – faced her down after she had pulled one too many schemes against them. Dave's test