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HBO cancels hit show "DEADWOOD"

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by calico, May 13, 2006.

  1. calico

    calico Active Member

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    http://tv.yahoo.com/news/ap/20060512/114749154000.html

    This is strange news since the network was THRILLED with the 3rd season rushes and immediately renewed it for the 4th and final planned season by the creator, David Milch.

    With the 3rd...and now FINAL season of DEADWOOD in the can and just around the corner, I can't help but dry heave at the thought that the news came out now instead of after the season to cushion the blow that the bottom line would see in cancelled subscriptions. Now, they are sure to have very few cancellations with the Sopranos going right into the new Season of Deadwood and the stockholders and bean counters can be happy.

    Fans of the show will know W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority), and they might be interested in reading his thoughts that he posted on the official HBO forums.

    Having not slept for much of last night, I sit staring bleary-eyed at my computer. That phone call last evening floored me. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I see it coming.

    I feel cheated.

    I am cheated as an person because the way I was brought up a man's word is his bond. We were given word in Dec. that we'd be back for a fourth season. A formal annoucement of that fourth season was trumpeted in the press in March. Lives were planned accordingly.

    I am cheated as an artist because something that I poured my lifeblood into has been given short-shrift and not allowed to conclude properly.

    I am cheated as a fan because the verbally fleet and intricately plotted show shall just cease to be. It will just stop. No wrap up. No farewells.

    It isn't like DEADWOOD had a tiny audience. No, our ratings -- based on what I've read -- were good, better than all HBO shows but one. They were not SOPRANOS huge, but then again, SOPRANOS did not become the cultural phenomenon until it's third season.

    This is not the fault of David Milch. Given his druthers, he would never just leave a show hanging like this. I feel nothing but gratitude toward his largess. As for the coporate bean-counters...

    It has been a high-water mark of my career. I seriously doubt I will ever again be a part of something so unique, so daring, and so special. I hang my head in sorrow...



    W. Earl Brown


    It has nothing to do with pregnancies. It has nothing to do with conservative watchdogs.

    It has everything to do with money.

    Chris Albrecht, HBO CEO, is in danger of losing his job. The network is bleeding red ink. His production side lost a ton of money. They sunk 120-million into ROME. They are committed contractually to another season, plus they have 120 invested already.

    On DEADWOOD, they did not get foreign rights. Paramount had a deal with Milch to work for them. In exchange for them releasing him to HBO, they got foreign rights to our show. So for three years, HBO has not seen that money from around the world.

    While we are the second biggest show on HBO, we are the 2nd most expensive to make (half of what ROME costs, mind you). Chris has shareholders to answer to and is panicked to cut the bottom line. Never mind the fact, that in 2004 he posted a 1-Billion dollar profit (the most for ANY network. Ever.) You might've won the Super Bowl last year, but if you go 0-16 this season, you're looking for another coaching job.

    We had been given word of season four. They trumpeted the announcment of the season to the press in March. Chris, obviously having not been raised the way I was where a man's word is his bond, reneged on us. He offered Milch the opportunity to wrap up the series with either a 2 hour movie or an order of six episodes. David refused, feeling that to conclude with anything short of a full season (which we'd already been given word of) would demean all the work we'd done prior. I agree.

    The s**tty part of this is David's Paramount deal is over this year. Starting with season four, HBO would own the show outright. All world monies would be theirs. BUT... that doesn't help Chris with the shareholders today. He is cutting off his nose to spite his face.

    Write HBO. Call HBO. Email HBO. It amounts to the bottom line. If the are overun by subscibers and the threatened cancellations are enough of an issue to seriously cut into their cash flow, they might change track.

    Bottom line matters. CARNIVALE only had a weekly viewership of 2-3 million. SOPRANOS, on the opposite end, has 10-12. DEADWOOD drew 5-6. ROME has a comparable draw, although their viewership dwindled as the show went on. However (this is solely my opinion having constantly encountered fans on the street, in airports, etc. who are only now getting into the show via dvd of season 1) DEADWOOD is (was) still ascending.

    We've been cut off at the knees.

    Read this. Memorize this. I'm afraid some Monitor from Big Brother will soon delete it and I will never work for HBO again... at least while Albrecht is at the helm.



    Sorry to rant and get pissed about this, but the show was just excellent and to see HBO treat hits like this and then fellate David Chase and The SOPRANOS all day makes me sick.
  2. ROMOSAPIEN9

    ROMOSAPIEN9 Proud Grandpa

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    I never watched a single episode. Don't even know wht it's about.
  3. GTaylor

    GTaylor Gif Dude

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    It's an educational video for the Navy, it teaches new recruits how to talk like sailors :D
  4. ROMOSAPIEN9

    ROMOSAPIEN9 Proud Grandpa

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    In that case, I'm sorry I missed it.:eek::
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Well that blows to say the least. Deadwood is one of my favorite shows. It's very well written and the actors are top notch all the way around. The only reason I even have HBO is for shows like Deadwood and The Sopranos.
  6. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    You've got to be kidding me.
  7. calico

    calico Active Member

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    Same here. I will cancel it in Aug after the final season of DEADWOOD. I will probably just mooch off of friends to see the Final season of The SOPRANOS and ROME.

    I will try to catch ENTOURAGE when I can, but it is not worth the price of HBO alone.

    It is a real shame since the network is quickly losing its mark of having the only quality shows on TV.
  8. ROMOSAPIEN9

    ROMOSAPIEN9 Proud Grandpa

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    Never watched a single episode of The Sopranos either. I'm not much into fiction. At least not as far as TV goes.

    I'm more into educational programming. You know...REALITY. But that's just me.
  9. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    Damn those fictional writers and their evil imaginary ways!! :chop:

    I'm shocked. I did think that season two really dropped off. It stopped feeling like a good ol' fashioned western once they shot Wild Bill and went more for the trivial soap operas and conspiracy plots, but I was still anxious to watch season three.

    This is bad news. It means my all-time fave on HBO, Rome, is next. If they thought it was too expensive to build a ghost town in the Dakotas, I can only imagine what they're paying to reconstruct ancient Rome!
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Sopranos and Deadwood are the best shows on HBO by a WIDE margin.

    I can see he Sopranos going, even though there will be some more shows next season to wrap it up...because the Sopranos has been on for a decent number of seasons.

    Deadwood, however, deserves more than three seasons and it is a shame they are just going to leave it high and dry.

    Sure the second season was not as good as the first but it was still very entertaining.

    I would go so far as to even say that as a whole the acting job on deadwood was better than the acting job on the Sopranos. Now the Sopranos was a better overall show IMO, but the actors were just better in deadwood IMO.

    Personally I would rather see HBO scrap some of the other programs, Rome and Big Love, and bring back deadwood at least for another complete season to wrap it up.
  11. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I agree with Rome considering the only reason I even watched it was Indria Varma and they killed her character off :(
  12. calico

    calico Active Member

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    ROME's second season is in production right now but won't last past the 2nd season of 10 episodes.

    I loved ROME because I that is my favorite period in history, but it does not have the audience to justify that price.

    I remember reading an article about a year ago claiming that HBO was about to go away from their original dramtic series and stick to TV movies and short comedies.

    It is obvious now. They hardly advertise the new season of DEADWOOD. All we get down our throats is ENTOURAGE and that new, terrible looking show, LUCKY LOUIE. Both are cheap to produce comedy series.

    I agree that DEADWOOD's second season was not as good as the first, but it was still better than anything on TV right now. Hell, I have never seen anything like Ian McShane's Al Swearengen--just excellent.
  13. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Ian is the show for me
  14. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    Woohoo. Another "Rome" fan. IMO, it's far superior to any current program on HBO. I think ya have to be a fan of ancient Roman times though to truly appreciate it. Julius Caesar, the Huey Long of the B.C. era, just an interesting character in history. Like you, it may be my favorite period in history to study.

    I hope HBO keeps its original programming series. I've watched some of their specials, I enjoyed the recent "Elizabeth I" (another bad arse monarch right there!) but I prefer the series. I enjoy watching TV shows that have no commercials and no censorship. They can explore subjects that network television can't even begin to approach, it would be a shame if they cut off support for them.

    Showtime is actually producing some good stuff these days. I really dig their "Masters of Horror" show. Reminds me of "Tales from the Crypt."
  15. calico

    calico Active Member

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    I agree. ROME was made for fans of the time period. It was full of complex political issues of the time and latin phrases.

    I basically sat with my brother and his girlfriend each week explaining the history of several episodes.

    Sadly, they did butcher the real history some, which was more interesting than what they though up. The arena gladiator scene was one bloody good show. The assassination of Caesar was excellent IMO with its brutality and sorrow.

    One thing the show needs big time are good battle scenes...but they will never happen with all the budget going to the sets and costumes.

    Have you ever read Colleen McCullough's MASTERS OF ROME series?
  16. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    That gladiator scene..... best scene ever. Put the movie "Gladiator" to shame. After that episode was over, I realized that "Rome" was going to go down as one of my favorite programs ever. Oh my frigging lord was that awesome to watch. "Thirteeeeeeeeeeeeeeenth!" Made ya want to pick up a gladius and jump in the arena with 'em!

    Yeah, the history isn't all correct. They really messed up some of the conspirators against Caesar. I guess it's to be expected, though. I agree it would be tight if they could have some full-blown battle scenes. I'm a little surprised they didn't show much. I have buddies who are in the CGI scene and they seem to be able to add mass crowds and such to even small productions easy enough. All you need are a few actors and you can multiply the rest.

    I've read about half of the first Masters of Rome book. I keep getting distracted with other things, but it's always on my to do list. ;)
  17. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I can see why HBO is doing this. They are banking on shows like Entourage, Big Love and Lucky Louie to survive and gain a good audience. Entourage is fun to watch, Big Love is kinda interesting, and Lucky Louie looks like a good idea. Plus these shows are all very cheap compared to Deadwood and Rome. They will not draw the same audience, but for the budgets of those shows, you need a heckuvan audience anyway.

    Still - those three cheap ones, while good, probably won't do what HBO needs.
  18. calico

    calico Active Member

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    Well, it looks like DEADWOOD is not over yet.

    HBO and creator David Milch just agreed to wrap the show up with 2, two hour movies to replace the 4th season.

    It will go into production sometime after the 3rd season, which premiers next week.
  19. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Cool :)
  20. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Well I hate the idea of it being cancelled but a least they will do this to wrap it up and not leave it hanging in the wind.

    Thanks for the heads up.

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