Prior to the fourth season of Desperate Housewives, the series' sole leading gay character was Andrew Van de Kamp, whom critics noted as having a minimal role in season three. In July 2007, two months before the premiere of season four, series creator Marc Cherry announced that a gay couple would be moving to Wisteria Lane around the fifth episode of the new season. Cherry named the characters after ABC journalist Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee, and based them on his own experiences and interactions with neighbors as a gay man. Cherry decided not to make the new characters "issue-oriented" and treat them like the heterosexual couples on the series. Actor Tuc Watkins was cast in the recurring role of Bob in August 2007, having previously auditioned for the role of Adam Mayfair for the series only a few weeks earlier. Kevin Rahm, who was cast as Bob's partner Lee, originally auditioned for Bob.
Both Watkins and Rahm were promoted from recurring guest stars to series regulars for the seventh season. However, for the eighth and final season of the series, both of them were demoted to "Also starring".
Tired of life in the city, Bob and Lee move onto Wisteria Lane in Fairview, Eagle State. Susan Delfino tries to welcome Lee and Bob to Wisteria Lane; however, she makes quite a mess of greeting them and ends up getting off on the wrong foot, as Lee responds to her quite rudely. Trying to get him and his partner to like her, Susan brings them cookies she bought. She soon finds out Lee is allergic to the nuts she wasn't aware were in the store-bought confections. Desperate, she hides the couple's dog, which her daughter Julie Mayer has found wandering, in her garage in order to seem like the hero who found their dog. However, the plan ends up being a disaster when the dog escapes from her garage and jumps on Bob, ruining his expensive suit with the paint all over his paws. Not long after this, Lee and Bob buy an expensive and noisy fountain, getting themselves at odds with the whole neighborhood. They try to prevent Katherine Mayfair from becoming president by pushing Lynette Scavo to go against her, but they fail. When Katherine arrives at their doorstep demanding they take down the fountain; however, Bob and Lee uncover information about a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against Katherine's husband, Adam, in Chicago, forcing Katherine to retreat from the argument. The fountain is later destroyed in a tornado. Bob and Lee decide to celebrate their relationship with a commitment ceremony. While Bob wants a cherub ice sculpture, Lee insists they have an enchanted castle ice sculpture. The argument causes them to call off the ceremony, but they realize that their love is powerful enough to overcome small squabbles.
Lee and Bob have been married for five years and are still on the lane. Lee and Bob are currently trying to adopt a child.
In the fifth season, Tom and Lynette Scavo hire Bob to represent their son, Porter, in court after he is accused of burning down the White Horse nightclub. When Porter runs away, Tom and Lynette have his twin brother, Preston, take his place during the trial. Bob is angry when he learns of their deception, as he is torn between his friendship with the Scavos and his responsibilities as a lawyer. Nevertheless, Bob is able to have the case thrown out due to the lack of sufficient evidence.
In the fifth season episode "Home is the Place," Susan wakes up next to Lee and gets the impression that they had sex. Eventually, Susan talks to Lee about this, and he quickly tells her that nothing happened between them. In the episode "Mama Spent Money When She Had None," Bob tells Lee about how Dave Williams framed Porter for setting the White Horse club on fire. Lee passes the information to Tom, who later confronts Dave about the night of the fire.
In the sixth season premiere episode "Nice is Different Than Good," Lee has just obtained his real estate broker's license, taking over the neighborhood from the late Edie Britt. He sells the Young family's former house to the Bolens. During the sale, Angie Bolen presses Lee on the reason why the house was selling so cheaply, and Lee eventually confesses that Mary Alice committed suicide within the house.
Bob offers to legally defend Danny Bolen, Angie's son who is accused of attacking Julie. Though Susan feels betrayed, Bob insists that it his moral and ethical obligation to be Danny's lawyer. Nevertheless, Danny has an alibi and is cleared of all charges.
Later, Bob and Lee reveal that they are in marriage counseling, during which time they run into several obstacles while trying to have a child. Later, neighbor Gabrielle Solis offers to be their egg donor for a surrogacy. Bob and Lee gratefully accept her offer, but they tell her that they do not want her to have an active role in raising the child. This causes Gabrielle to question her commitment, and she retracts her offer. Drained from dealing with the difficulty and unhappiness of trying to have a child, Lee leaves Bob.
In the sixth season finale episode "I Guess This is Goodbye" Lee rents out Susan's house to Paul Young. When Lee tells Paul how nice the neighbors in Wisteria Lane are, Paul responds by saying, "Oh, I know the neighborhood very well. The truth is: I used to live here." Lee says that everyone would be excited to see that he has moved back. Paul replies, "They absolutely will."
At the beginning of season seven, Bob and Lee have yet to reconcile their differences and are still no longer living together. To ease his loneliness, Bob develops a friendship with Gabrielle's husband, Carlos Solis. Lee warns Gabrielle that Bob has a history of "flipping" straight men. Gabrielle gets Lee and Bob together to admit they still love each other, and they are reunited as a couple.
When Gabrielle learns that her daughter Juanita was switched with Grace Sanchez at birth eight years ago, she asks Bob to track down Grace's family. Gabrielle uses Bob's services again when Grace's parents face deportation when they are discovered to be living in the country illegally.
Paul enlists Lee's help to purchase seven homes on Wisteria Lane so he can gain a majority in the homeowners' association and open a halfway house for ex-convicts on the street. The neighbors greatly oppose Paul's plan and resent Lee for helping him. Paul tells Bob and Lee that he has obtained the majority with the purchase of an eighth house and suggests they move to avoid the wrath of their neighbors. Bob and Lee sell their home to Paul without realizing that Paul had lied and their home will in fact be the eighth home he acquires. The other neighbors are furious to learn that Bob and Lee have sold their home to Paul. A staged protest against the opening of the halfway house escalates into a violent riot in which Bob and Lee are attacked. Their car is smashed as Lee has a bottle cracked over his head. Lynette helps rescue him, forgiving him for being pulled into Paul's schemes. As Lee was seen packing a gun, he is one of the suspects in Paul's shooting.
Later, Bob and Lee announce that they are adopting a young girl named Jenny. In the season finale, Lee tells Bree Van de Kamp that he recognizes her new love interest, Detective Chuck Vance as a gay man he has seen in local gay bars. It is later revealed that Chuck had just worked undercover in the bar.
In the eighth season episode "Watch While I Revise the World," Lee becomes increasingly jealous of his daughter Jenny spending so much time with Renee Perry after she takes her shopping. When his daughter reveals she wants a mother figure and sees Renee as one, Lee becomes more worried. Renee reassures him he is doing a great job of being a father.
In the episode "Always in Control," Gaby and Carlos attempt to have Bob and Lee agree to be their daughters' guardians if anything happens to them. Bob and Lee go to the Solis' house for dinner to see if their kids are mature enough to live with them. After a surprisingly peaceful night, Bob and Lee leave happy only to find homophobic graffiti on the Solis' garage door, angering them. Gaby punishes Juanita for the graffiti and promises they are not going anywhere.
When Lynette tells Tom the truth about the murder of Alejandro Perez, Tom asks Bob for some legal advice. Bob agrees to be Bree's lawyer when she is framed by Orson Hodge, her ex-husband for the murder of Alejandro, but in "With So Little to Be Sure Of", he tells Bree that she needs a criminal lawyer and recommends Trip Weston, whom he calls a "shark".
Lee causes a temporary misunderstanding between Lynette and Tom towards the end of the series when he is helping her with her dress for Renee's wedding. Tom sees Lee unzipping Lynette's dress and thinks she is seeing some other guy, not realizing it was Lee. Lynette and Tom later reconcile. In the end of the series, Lee is the real-estate agent that is offering Susan's house, following the revelation that she is leaving Wisteria Lane.