Can fans save a show? Well, if they act quickly, try hard enough, and use financial pressure, the answer seems to be “Yes!” When it was announced that HBO would we cutting the wild-west Deadwood series short after three seasons, fans of the HBO series got, well, downright ornery! They signed petitions, took out an ad in Variety (a Hollywood trade paper), sent letters and made calls indicating that they would cancel their HBO subscriptions at the end of Deadwood’s third season (which recently started airing).
As a result, HBO and Deadwood creator David Milch have now come to an agreement. Deadwood will return following the third season… sort-of. Rather than a full-blown 12-episode season to complete the series (which would have been quite costly and now, very difficult to coordinate), HBO and Milch will instead produce a pair of two-hour movies.
But wait, hadn’t HBO previously offered to pay for a six-episode fourth season? How is this better? Milch has said that he wasn’t in favor of doing a six-episode season because each episode of Deadwood has typically represented one day in the lives of the characters and South Dakota area. Shifting to two-hour movies will allow him to break that format and to be able to complete the storytelling he had for the final season. Milch has said that he’s thrilled that they worked out a way to continue Deadwood past the third season.
But what about the series actors that were released from their contracts over a month ago. Can HBO get them back? Though Deadwood cast members have not been signed for the movie projects as yet, it seems clear that HBO intends to do all it can to work out this aspect as well. One source has reported that HBO intends to “make it worth their while.” No doubt. Wouldn’t want to upset these fans . . .