Friday, May 12, 2006

Hooplehead Cocksuckers!

'Deadwood' may be done
HBO not picking up options on actors

Friday, May 12, 2006; Posted: 8:36 a.m. EDT (12:36 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The upcoming third season of HBO's "Deadwood" might mark the end of the dark Western.
The pay cable network has opted not to pick up the options of the actors on the show, releasing them to pursue other projects.
"Deadwood" creator David Milch is shifting his attention to "John From Cincinnati," a one-hour project he is writing for HBO. The surfing-themed drama has been ordered as a pilot, subject to finalizing deals on the financial and talent side.
HBO sources said there are conversations about the future of "Deadwood" beyond the third season, which premieres June 11. But with the actors moving on to other commitments, it is highly unlikely that all the main cast members would be available to do additional episodes in the future.
HBO is a unit of Time Warner, as is CNN.
Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

and there's this from cast member W. Earl Brown:

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


Anonymous Tedd said...

Anonymous Garity said...

Re: Season 3 May be the last season for Deadwood
Posted: May 12, 2006 12:07 PM

"Just so yall know -- HBO did try to get us to wrap things up as a 2 hour movie. There is no way to do that without denigrating the quality of all we've produced prior.

To convieniently tie things up in a pretty two-hour bow would undercut all that has made the show special to begin with. The first season happened in about a month's span of time. The second season happened in about a two week span of time. This third season (yes, I've watched it all) happens in a two week span of time. It is not possible to properly conclude things with a "Return to Gilligan's Island" style tv movie.

I'd rather cut our losses and move on than to denigrate the show's legacy with such an atrocity.

That having been said, I would love to take a twelve episode arc and bring it to a conclusion. THAT would allow us, and the show, proper closure. However, as of yesterday, all of the horses were let out of the barn. It will be damned hard to round them all up and put them back in their stalls.

So, yes, inundate the Powers That Be (your list is an appropriate one) with your emails/letters/calls. I don't know if it'll make them pull out the lariets and try to harness the herd, but it's worth trying. Like me, you're refusing to go quietly into that good night. Rage. Rage against the dying of the Deadwood light.

It has been a treat, yall. A treat to help create DEADWOOD with one of the finest bunch of artists and human beings I've ever been blessed to work with. Also, it has been a treat to comingle with such a rounded, literate bunch of cocksuckers like the group that assembles here.



Re: Season 3 May be the last season for Deadwood
Posted: May 13, 2006 12:49 PM

"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."


Re: Season 3 May be the last season for Deadwood
Posted: May 13, 2006 2:10 PM

"Ian just phoned me. In the past day and a half, we've all been on a round robin of phone calls to each other. I've spoken to Ian, Paula, John, Geri, Dayton, and Sean. I owe calls to Keone, Jim, and Robin.

We're all in disbelief.

I am going to miss those folks. Terribly. I could weather the early mornings wading through mud and s**t, by knowing that I was getting to work with some of the finest actors and human beings I've known.

f***. f***. f***.

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