The Wire: HBO Series Cast and Crew Say Goodbye

The WireHBO viewers will be saying goodbye to yet another series very soon. After five seasons, The Wire has wrapped its final episode.

The Wire debuted on June 2, 2002 on HBO. The gritty inner-city drama was created by writer/producer and former Baltimore Sun police reporter David Simon. Years earlier, Simon had created NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, a series based on his own non-fiction book. The Wire initially focused on the war between the Baltimore police and a drug cartel but later expanded to focus on the impact of drugs on different parts of the community.

Though the series generally receives critical acclaim, its ratings have never been stellar. Last season, each episode averaged only 1.6 million viewers. Simon has attributed this to the show’s heavy use of slang, the timeslot, the setting, and the cast being predominantly African-American. Others have also pointed to the fact that another gritty drama, The Shield, debuted on FX around the same time.

Simon has been planning the end of the series for quite some time. He’s always seen The Wire as a visual novel and reportedly wanted each season/chapter to focus on a different aspects of inner-city life — drug trade, politics, reform, schools, etc. The final 10 episode season will focus on the media and follow a morally-challenged reporter played by Tom McCarthy.

The cast and crew knew that the “novel” would come to an end but Simon didn’t tell them when until last year. Actor Wendell Pierce (Detective William “Bunk” Moreland) shared, “He told us from day one, ‘It’s a novel.’ He had the novel in his head, and he wouldn’t share with us.”

Production on season five began on April 30th and the final bit of shooting took place Friday night and very early on Saturday morning. The episode was fittingly directed by Clark Johnson who also directed the pilot. Johnson was a regular on Homicide (Detective Meldrick Lewis) and plays a newspaper editor in season five of The Wire.

The Wire series finale will be a 90 minute episode but production schedules demanded that it be shot in a tight 11 days. A bit after 3am on September 1st, Sonja Sohn (Shakima Greggs) wrapped her final scene with tears and said, “It’s not going to be like this again. It can’t be.”

Standing in the Baltimore soundstage, which will soon be converted into a Wegmans Food Market, Deirdre Lovejoy (Attorney Rhonda Pearlman) said, “I was a wreck. But there was a funeral [of a crew member’s daughter earlier in the day] and that put everything in perspective. This is a happy death.” Mused Clarke Peters (Detective Lester Freamon), “It’s time to pull the plug on The Wire.”

At 4:40am, the assistant director made it official. “It’s a wrap, it’s a wrap. We’re done. Forever.” Holding up a cup of champagne, Simon could only say “It’s 4:40 and I am at a complete loss. I’m out of words. I am very spoiled by this cast and crew. . . To all of us and for this last night . . . L’chaim.”

The fifth and finale season of The Wire is set to debut on January 6, 2008. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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31 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Steve says

    The Wire is a superlative masterpiece.

    Thank you HBO and David Simon for creating the most intelligent TV ever shown.

    Thank you for having faith in your audience and giving them credit for being able to follow the incredibly intricate plot.

    Thank you for finding the talent you did in, what MUST be the largest cast ever to inhabit a TV series.

    Thank you for taking the time to light and sound the various scenes that may only have appeared for 10-12 seconds on screen time, but were all integral to the overall plot.

    Thank you for making us care about the lives of the characters you created with such skilful writing and dialog.

    Thank you to the crews and directors who made it all so real.

    Thank you to the cast who are the only ones, in my opinion to hold a candle to the cast of The Sopranos, you are the epitome of how to inhabit the lives of a fictional work.

    The Wire is television at it’s zenith, its absolute finest.

    I’m gutted that it has to come to a close, but I appreciate that it is better to leave on the crest of the wave.

    I never thought I would see the Sopranos equalled, let alone surpassed.

    My genuine and heartfelt thanks for bringing this magical portrayal of a very real and gritty way of the world into my life.

    I salute you all and thank you again, most profoundly.

    HBO, please “look after” Mr Simon. Mr Simon, more please…whatever it may be…just more please.

    Sincerely,

    Steve.

  2. D Gilmore says

    I too would like to know what “mope” means! I love The Wire and Stringer Bell is really FINE! I almost cried when he was killed (smile- almost)

  3. Valerie Johnson says

    The Wire is the best television on television since Homicide Life On The Street. Unfortunately,with this being the United States of America, race still matters. No matter the talent, no matter the excellence. Race still matters.

  4. says

    THE WIRE NOT BEING ON TV, IS TERRIBLE TO SAY THE LEAST. NOW WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO WATCH? SVU? I JUST HOPE THIS LAST SEASON TIES ALL LOOSE ENDS AND LEAVES US SATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME…WE SHALL SEE

  5. jackee says

    I loved the wire Why do you writers always stat something and gets us sprung and then take it away from us like that think it should be a poll taken on things like this because there are only a few series My family like to watch on hbo and that was one of them so dont take it away like that.We really love that show the wire.

  6. eric says

    I really loved watching the wire!! I loved the creativity the realness and the storylines for each season, I hate that it can’t continue with more creative storywriting?? please?? by the way can somebody please define the slang word (MOPE) so oftenly used?? thats the only damn word I couldn’t figure out what it means or stands for!! by the way even though omar was gay in the series I loved his character!! in fact I was never really a fan of avon barksdale, always omar and any competitors, Marlo..

    eric

  7. eve says

    By far, the best show on television. The only show that I can watch over and over again….and learn something new with each viewing.

  8. Enoch walked says

    Hands down and unequivocally one of the best crime drama/cop shows of all time. A great cast, riveting story lines, and subperb writing is the substance of The Wire and I hate to see it go.
    HBO had better come up with something ground breaking to even touch the brilliance of this soon to be departed show.

  9. Woo says

    The wire was a fabulous series. I lived for Sunday. I really hate the show will end. To the Hoppers you young brothers played your roles well. the entire crew was great. Detective Kima Greggs you are sexy! i hope to see you in more roles.

  10. raymond sartini says

    the 5th and final season- what a shame. the demise of tv crime drama at its very best ending and putting the very best ensemble acting group ever seen on tv out of work.i salute african-american actors for their great skill as evidenced on the big screen by freeman, jackson,cheadle, foxx, et al.

  11. Amos says

    In response to Mike:

    It’s the creator and biggest creative force behind The Wire, David Simon, who decided to end it after 5 seasons. It’s really a great and rare thing when a series gets to end on its own terms. Personally I am celebrating that Simon got all five seasons he wanted, and he wasn’t forced to stretch the show unnaturally with a sixth season.

  12. D. Norman says

    The Wire and The Sopranos
    were two of the most incredible shows ever! The were like friends that moved away that I will NEVER forget. My heart will forever mourn their leaving.

    The cast on each series are some of “The Most Talented individuals in show business today.”

    I pray that the younger actors and actresses in the “Wire” continue their craft and are cast in other shows and movie series.

    Good luck, Randy, “Snoop”, Michael, Nate, Dukey and the rest of the “Hoppers” Your performances were “Stellar!”

  13. P says

    Loved the show and all the characters. Stringer Bell is a HOTTIE…with a brain and a plan, too bad it ended with his demise. Avon Barksdale was not his boy in the end and they were not “US”. I tip my hat to the writers and the cast. BIG UPS!!!

  14. Mike says

    This is nonsense. This is why I hate HBO. They bring great series and disappoint by ending series like the wire early and drag on series like the Sopranos past their prime. Sopranos was a great series, until the final season. The final season was horrible. I was hoping for like 5 or more seasons with the wire.

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