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Lately, it seems as if I'm pretty much the very last person to know what's what. Case in point, I only just this afternoon learned that HBO canceled Deadwood...back in May. The following is quoted from the Wikipedia Deadwood entry:

On May 13, 2006, HBO confirmed it has opted not to pick up the options of the actors, which were set to expire on June 11, 2006. This means that there will likely be no fourth season with the current cast as it stands, though HBO has stressed that the show is not cancelled and talks regarding its future are ongoing. The chance of the show returning in its current state of cast and crew, however, is small.

On June 5, 2006, HBO and creator David Milch agreed to have two two-hour telefilms in place of a fourth season, after Milch declined a short-order of 6 episodes. This is because in the show's original form, each season was only a few days, with each episode being one day, in the town of
Deadwood. The final two-hour format will release these time restraints and allow for a broader narrative to finish off the series.

What the fuck?! This means that tonight's episode will be the last regular episode, and I know it's going to end with a cliffhanger, and I'm having some serious fucking Farscape flashbacks: A brilliant series is canceled in the middle of a story, then allowed the chance to "wrap up" with a partial season, but will be finishing with a mini-series instead, which, I can guarantee, will not be equal to the task. Four hours?! Am I the only person who was labouring under the impression that Deadwood was a hit? I suppose that I should take some cold comfort from the fact that so many of the artists whom I admire are commercial failures. At least I'm consistent.


As Bruce Cockburn said so long ago, "If I had a rocket launcher..."

At least Serenity won a Hugo.

Postscript: My very grateful thanks to David Kirkpatrick (corucia), whose generosity has made it possible for me to renew the domain registration for Nebari.net. Whether or not it will remain online past September 6th, I cannot yet say. But I do hope so.

Second Postscript (8:43 p.m.): This article from The New York Times answers a lot of my questions regarding the end of Deadwood. It also reveals many more parallels in the forces behind the demise of Milch's masterpiece and Farscape than I'd actually expected.


( 10 comments — Have your say! )
Aug. 28th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
I never did get into Deadwood, myself, though what I've heard has it on my list for when I'm done with other stuff.

Still, I've got a bad taste in my mouth, years later, over what happened to Farscape. I still maintain that it was the best SF show made yet, though I haven't seen any of the new Battlestar Galactica since the original miniseries.
Aug. 28th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
This season of Deadwood is also easily the best of the series.

It is tragic (and I mean that in the truest sense) that we are having what is likely the best-written television show presented in any genre taken from us now. I would have preferred at least one more season to give them the time they need to wrap things up correctly.

I've had enough time to get used to the idea of the movies. And I'm glad the show is going out on the top of its game, instead of foundering for a few seasons and only finding its stride again in the last few episodes, like Alias did.

HBO and Showtime seem to be dead set on making themselves irrelevant to me.
Aug. 28th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
We are addicted to Deadwood as well, so you're not alone. I heard all this a month or so ago -- one of our neighbors is friends with David Milch.

My impression was that he only planned for three seasons of it and the two telemovies are what HBO talked him into in lieu of a fourth season.
Aug. 28th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
I don't have HBO, but I've gotten into a few of their shows through DVD via netflix. I loved the first 2 seasons of Deadwood, and await the third season release to DVD with a sense of bitter-sweetness. Knowing it will be the last true season sucks. I'll take the additional movies if nothing else, but damn, what a shame.

Have you watched Rome on HBO? I just finished the first season DVD collection, and while it was totally different from Deadwood's style and language I thought it was wonderful, and hope the 2nd season comes to DVD quick.

I'm also a Farscape fan, and a fan of Firefly, so I sympathize with you on both counts.
Aug. 28th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
Crud. I don't have cable (or TV, for the most part), but Deadwood is one of only three shows I've ever made a point of watching as soon as possible, either with limewire of buy buying the DVDs when they came out. Firefly and West Wing were the other two, both primarily for the fun way of scripting lines that they had, and only West Wing got to play out. There's definitely a pattern forming here.

Thanks for the news. I wouldn't have heard about it for a while otherwise, I think.
Aug. 28th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
"of buy" = "or by". Heckuva typo, there. Grah.
Aug. 28th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
At least Serenity won a Hugo.

And a Nebula, for the screenplay. I was there. Joss wasn't. Dammit.
Aug. 28th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
Whether or not it will remain online past September 6th, I cannot yet say. But I do hope so.

Did you get the email about the test site I put up?
Aug. 28th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
HBO are idiots, obviously. The whole thing with Milch is that they wanted him to start working on another show about... surfers instead of doing a 4th season of Deadwood.

Just read about that in the NY Times... surfers... yep. HBO obviously has lost their mind.
Aug. 28th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
"Deadwood" is by far the best work of drama on t.v. It sucks ass that it's getting cancelled, but at least it's going out on top, at the height of its creativity.
( 10 comments — Have your say! )