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.