Last May, it was leaked that HBO would not be renewing the Deadwood series for a fourth season. It looked like the rough language western series was headed into the sunset until fans caught wind of the idea. They put together a major campaign that flooded HBO with letters, petitions and angry calls. They even took out a full-page ad in the Hollywood trade-paper Variety indicating that they would be cancelling their HBO subscriptions if Deadwood didn’t return.
Shortly thereafter, Deadwood creator David Milch and HBO worked out a deal for a pair of two-hour movies that would resolve the series’ storylines. At the time, it was expected that the movies would air in 2007. In January, it was said that Milch was excited about his script ideas and production was expected to start shooting in June or July. That hasn’t happened and to date none of the series’ actors have indicated that they’ve been signed to the project. But, HBO is committed to making them eventually, right?
Apparently not. Michael Lombardo, HBO president of programming group and West Coast Operations, said yesterday that they “haven’t had a conversation” with Milch about the Deadwood movies. Though the movies looked like a sure thing last Spring, the exec only said, “It’s certainly on our books as something we’re still interested in.”
Lombardi indicated that it would be very difficult to pull the project together. Milch is exhausted from making his new series John in Cincinnati and it would also be difficult to round up the large cast of series actors (many of whom have moved onto other shows and projects). On top of that, if John is picked up for another year, Milch would be expected to start writing for the second season almost immediately. (The fate of John won’t be decided until the end of season one.)
Though HBO once placated outraged viewers with the movie plans, they hardly seem to be a priority any longer. When asked about the chances of the Deadwood films being made, sadly HBO Co-President Richard Plepler puts the odds at only “50-50.” Stay tuned!