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Big change for Huffman

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HOLLYWOOD -- While millions watched Bree Van De Kamp get intimate with George on Sunday's Desperate Housewives, the women who play the housewives -- Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan -- united at AFI Fest 2005 to celebrate a different Bree. In Transamerica, opening Dec. 2 in limited release, Huffman plays transsexual Bree (formerly Stanley) Osbourne.

But up on the Cineramadome's rooftop red carpet, Huffman looked every bit the lady in a lacey Dolce & Gabbana gown.

"I hear Felicity is Oscar-worthy," Cross said, "so maybe we'll all be at the Academy Awards. Well, we'll all be watching."

"Yeah," Hatcher piped in. "We'll be watching in our pajamas, rooting her on."

Huffman's husband, William H. Macy, arrived fresh from a scene as Sharon Stone's husband in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, the story of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He told Transamerica co-star Fionnula Flanagan he's looking for a TV series of his own to shoot next season.

TV seems where Cross and Hatcher are comfortable, too. "I'm getting married," Cross said of her reasons for not seeking a film to shoot over her summer hiatus. (Fiance Tom Mahoney was her date for the evening.) Said Hatcher: "The show is such an intense amount of work that my hiatus is all about getting to be with Emerson," her 7-year-old daughter.

Also there: Huffman's TV husband, Doug Savant, with wife and former Melrose Place co-star Laura Leighton, and the show's James Denton. Denton addressed talk of Housewives not living up to its first-season acclaim:

"I think there's a real comfort viewers had with last season that they might have been missing. But when we get into (2006), the show focuses more on the characters viewers know."

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