Deadwood: An Update on the Reasons Why

HBO Deadwood series cancelledAs reported previously, Deadwood will come to an end after the wild-western’s third season (which starts airing on June 11, 2006). Though the series was not officially cancelled, the series’ cast options were not picked up, leaving the actors free to pursue other projects. If new Deadwood episodes were commissioned at a later time, it’s unlikely that all of the large number of cast-members would be available to participate.

The news upset and confused legions of fans of the unique HBO drama. A passionate “save our show” campaign has begun (for details visit which includes the suggestion that HBO subscribers cancel their paid subscriptions following the airing of the last episode of the third season. Contributions are also being accepted to pay for “open letter” ads in editions of Variety.

Deadwood series creator David Milch has said, “I am deeply disappointed by the way things turned out. (HBO) felt like they had to make a choice, and this is how they chose. I know they tried to work it out, and I tried to work it out with them.” It’s been confirmed that HBO offered to greenlight a small six-episode order of the groundbreaking drama but Milch, who has had bad experiences with so-called “short-order renewals,” rejected the offer. “For my part, I did not want to accept a short order. We couldn’t have done the work the way we wanted. I didn’t want to limp home. My old man used to say, ‘Never go anyplace where you’re only tolerated,'” relates Milch. One source has reported that Milch had already plotted the fourth (presumed final) season episodes.

So in essence, the reason for Deadwood’s ending seems to be a financial one. Milch is working on a new series for HBO (John from Cincinnati) and, due to that commitment, HBO didn’t believe that he would be able to return to Deadwood for quite awhile, delaying the possible start of a Deadwood season four. Deadwood is an expensive show to shoot and it’s assumed that the cable channel didn’t want to (or couldn’t afford to) pay the actor salaries for months while they waited for production to begin.

Creator Milch is reportedly doing his part in an attempt to save his series. He’s reportedly looking into possible tie-ins with casinos and theme parks as well as with the real Deadwood community. “I’m doing what I can,” Milch says. “Any financial participation could take the pressure off.”

HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Albrecht has noted, “Not having a fourth season of Deadwood is not the result anyone wanted.” Fans and David Milch would agree and are making sure that HBO knows it. TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

89 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Dave says

    Thanks for giving me a reason not to keep HBO. Deadwood was the best thing HBO had going. Best show on TV period! Well at least I’ll save on my satelite bill.

  2. Ken says

    My Buddy and I rushed home every night with boyish excitement, fireplace burning, Labrador at our feet, dinner on the TV trays, each with one beer with the meal, laughing hysterically together imitating Jane by shouting *ock*ucker and eagerly settling in to watch DEADWOOD. We find out it’s cancelled. Our hearts are in our feet now. “BIG MISTAKE—HUUUUUGE” Not to add ‘insult to misery’, but if HBO is content to allow this, I along with the greater populace am gravely concerned for them and their future. Distaste in the mouth of a few hundred thousand people turns permanently into a foul disgust to a few million. Word of mouth can destroy and nothing passes faster, not even the media.

  3. T.S. Walker says

    You cancelled the best series you had. Why should we waste our time getting involved, if you are not going to follow through. Here’s an idea for 2008. BRING BACK DEADWOOD!! I realize the actors are doing their own thing, but you should find a way.

  4. Zach Bortner says

    I am currently in iraq and deadwood was sent to me for something to do while im here and all i can say is that its one of the best series ive seen hit tv in a long time. I am only on season 2 of deadwood but i feel that more seasons would be benificial to the Deadwood fan base. I will have to say that it has kept up morale with me and some of my fellow soldiers to cancle would just be madness

  5. steve from Australia says

    I cannot beleive that this show has been cancelled as it has a large number of fans in Australia that are also unhappy with it’s cancelation. What are the management of HBO thinking when they stop a show that wins awards. What are they going to replace it with, another lollypop boring sitcom?

  6. Lasse Johannessen says

    It’s very dissapointing to have bought the DVD sets only to find out the story has no ending.
    Sure, I’ve read about Hearst and how it all went, but what about all the other story lines, and the individual charaters faiths. Sad HBO.

  7. Mike Sticher says

    Way to go HBO. Another brain **** from the intelligencia. I did not watch Deadwood as it aired, but have just finished watching all three seasons via netflix. The show triggered my visit to Deadwood,SD. durying this years Black Hills motorcycle ralley in Sturgis. Though I was dissapointed to find the modern Deadwood, dead of any ties to it’s past, (except the cemetery) I loved the acting, writing, the dark comedy, and the reality of what it must have been like in a wild ass mineing town that the series provided. HBO pres. Carolyn Strauss should have been fed to George Hurst’s goons for lack of good business sense. At the very least she would make a nice meal for Wu’s pigs. Way to go HBO. I am canceling as of today!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Scott Pedigo says

    If you want to know how Deadwood ends, then check the history books. The show is fairly historically accurate. That ******* Hearst made lots of money and went on to start a publishing empire, presumably in order to manipulate public opinion of himself, which exists to this day. He also passed his genes on to Patty Hearst, kidnapped and brainwashed by the SLA. The Bullock Hotel, built on the site of the hardware store still exists today and you can get a room there if you want to see how Deadwood has turned out.

  9. Carl Lawson says

    Down here in New Zealand we’ve only just finished the third series recently and have now learnt that there is no 4th series. Just unbelievable. The best show EVER gets canned and the braindead sitcoms go for 7+ seasons. DW had a growing following down here an in Australia too. HBO stands for BOO HOO OOO.

  10. Bob Payne says

    What else can I say that all you great fans have already said.I’m as pissed off as all of you. The best show on TV was taken from all of us. Let’s get it back.

  11. joanie says

    I didnt want to believe it, it was just too sad. To leave us hanging like this is
    just plain cruel. IT SHOULD HAVE HAD A PROPER ENDING. Something everyone could have been satisfied with. I looked forward to my weekly episode w/bated breath. Six feet Under had the perfect ending,I mean if you are going to end a show do it proper for petes sake! Please reconsider renewing Deadwood, just think of all the subscribers you’ll pick up.

  12. Billroy says

    Are these people crazy?? What were they thinking to cancel this show? Who is in charge of this mr hearst?? I think someone should walk into hbo and pull the president out by the ear!!!! lol

  13. Scott D says

    HBO is as stupid as “george” who posted on 5-28-07. BRAVO channel is reality tv? Are we sure that george isn’t an HBO exec in drag, or Al Gore and Michael Moores’ illegitimate child, throwing out conspiracy theories like BJ Clinton throws an intern over a desk in the oval office. I just wanted to thank HBO for saving me money, I too am cacelling my “service”, because, well I’m tired of being “serviced”! At least when I get f**ked I at least get kissed. Plus I can spend more time with the youth of our country deprogramming” them from “Demoncratic”, we’re too stupid to think for ourselves, cradle to grave, welfare states idealism perpetuated upon the children of our public school systems…Now there’s a conspiracy theory for ya, georgie!!!…OOPS, I proably gave HBO an idea for another ignorant series, pretty hard to beat the idiocy of “John from Cincinatti”, or Cleveland? Entourage, Curb your Enthusiasm, Sex in the City(aka, anorexic chicks trying to get laid)….dumb, dumber, dumbest. Oh, I almost forgot about the most ignorant S.O.B., Bill Maher. Well HBO you made your bed, now you have to sleep with all this trash you’re trying to get us to swallow…..Think we’ll check out Showtime…………….

  14. GeeOhDee says

    It should be pretty clear by now that HBO will cease to exist because of poor choices made by what’s likely a bunch of greedy imbeciles just looking to line their own pockets. Deadwood is just a catalyst, as well as the end of Sopranos. HBO is basically going to cease existing. Not that the people pulling strings care, as they’ve made enough money, keeping the public happy doesn’t seem to matter. Way to go HBO.. morons.

  15. ann says

    I had seriously contemplated getting HBO so I could watch Deadwood, you might say, ‘hot off the presses’, but NOW I have decided NOT, NOT, NOT to get HBO. Obviously, the $$ guys at HBO know how to START something that will draw viewers but are unable to KEEP their subscribers. They can ‘get it up’ but ‘cant KEEP it up’! Think I will just get the boxed sets and watch them over and over and bypass extra charges on my dish bill.

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