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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 }

Jessica January 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm

The Wire series dvds are the best thing my brother ever brought to me on a cold Saturday afternoon. I just finished the series and feel very emotional (oddly) but these characters although fictional became very real to my husband and I. We looked forward to watching an episode of the series each evening and it was very exciting, real, honest and hard to believe it is fictional. I have deep sadness that Omar is gone – oddly my favorite character and Bubbles – wow I hope he wins an Emmy because Bubbles is so easy to love! I really want to kick Herc’s as$ and while perhaps honorable to some my beloved Kima – did you really have to tell on Freamon and McNulty girl? Unbelievable and fascinating series and characters.

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Billye Graham December 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

I am not a tv watcher hence I missed this remarkably outstanding tv series when it originally aired on HBO. I discovered it’s existence on Readdit (an internet comment forum) and happened to catch a Sunday rerun of the show. After several episode my husband and I were both hooked. So I bought the entire series and we have just finished season five. It is moments like this when you know you have been in the presence of greatness. My husband commented that losing Omar and watching the last episode of THE WIRE was like a death in the family. You know, when you sit around and remember the good, the bad and the ugly. It was superb and unforgetable. My hat is off to Simon who produced it and the actors who made it come alive and live forever.

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The Wire Best Show EVER December 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I have just finished watching season 5 and im left in shock, and feeling very sad, it was just amazing, perfect… i am so sad right now, god i will prey that it will come back and continue this fantastic show.

Im now wondering what to watch now, when you seen someting that is so great and then look around and compare, well you just have this empty sad feeling, which i have right now.

Well i think the cast will have a great future as most of them have that thing, you know what make actors interesting.

Perfection has been achieved…

J dos Santos

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dan July 15, 2009 at 5:10 pm

This series was one of the best ever
i am ashamed i over looked it when it first came out because the show oz was still running and HBO has so many great shows its hard to pick just one to watch when your a busy person. The only down fall was season two it wasent as hardcore as the first but the rest of the series made up for a miss step but every show has one and if it servives as the wire did for three more season then who cares
Looking back at a memory the show where bunk wore sweat pants was weird to see that but that is what this show did it surprised you

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jai June 9, 2009 at 8:55 am

the wire was the best show. Keep it going.

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treasure May 6, 2009 at 7:05 am

I really want to know if this is really the end. Because I just assumed that Avon would’ve been seen in season 5 and it ended on a cliff hanger. So, would you think about giving it to us one more time and bring back the WIRE!!??

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Mike January 1, 2009 at 11:39 am

Did Fremon and the former striper stay togather?
Was that her at the end of season 5 during the signoff?

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Anonymous August 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

the wire was one if the best seires EVER seen on TV…i live in the baltimore are and have lived the life(not one of my prouder moments for sure)…but if you wat to see wahat it;s really about…watch this…it is so scary..it’s that realistic…thanks god i dis escape it…but this is REALITY TV at i’ts finest…

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rashidah July 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm

i just wanted to say the wire was my most thrilling show i loved it so much i wached it every suday most of the time i could never waut to see the next show so i would look at it on deman there were so many great thing about the show l oved all the actors i really hated that it ended im look forward to see what the actor are going to be next but i really really really love marlo i hope he stay playin those kind of roles he is sooooo sexy i was not ready for the wire to end but i know every would have just died any way much thanks to HBO you really made my sunday something to look forward to i hope you come with some like that again please use the same cast member the really made the show what it was it took a while for me to let go of such a great show the wire is thhe best thank again HBO AND I LOVE THE WIRE IM A BIG BIG BIG FAN

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danny March 12, 2008 at 9:49 pm

The wire was one of the best series ever , i see some people compare it to the sopranos (the first three season yes , after that sopranos was ok , the wire was strong “wire to wire” pun intended) …..was glad to see revenge for the prop joe betrayal ….didnt love omar’s demise ….but all and all a solid series finale and season 5 ….main message was game stays the same only the players change …..great writing (very hard to find bad hbo series very hard seems like 80% are emmy winners) gonna miss all the guys , the good and the bad ….good luck to all the cast ….hope john adams is good its getting hard to watch network tv

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Big Mark February 25, 2008 at 9:16 pm

The WIRE is the absolute best crime drama ever put onto tv. The cast of Afro-Americans is the best ever & thus making this show the best.
It’s great to watch this show for its realism & truth. Just follow the $$$$ as Det. Freeman & get a better insight on the so-called War On Drugs.

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Eric February 3, 2008 at 3:13 pm

The wire is the closest thing to where I come from. A series that reflects the way hoodlife really is. Pleased to see ” BIG G” AKA SLIM CHARLES move up in life. The best series that ever came on HBO by far.

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Natasha January 14, 2008 at 11:20 am

Oh my God, how could I forget Bubbles. Now he was very special to me I have a uncle that Bubbs remined me of. Bubbes you will forever have spot in my heart. Some might say hes just a fictional character, See for me Bubbes is real……………I will miss you Uncle Bubbs………..

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Natasha January 14, 2008 at 11:14 am

To the writers and cast of the wire,

I like most of the viewers love(d)your novel. See, I can relate all to well with this visual novel, its right outside my door. But, from viewing the Wire its like looking thru someone elses eyes. Man I will be all to sad to see the Last episode of the show. I’ve grown attached to some of the characters on the show i.e. Omar,(who I had the privelage of meeting at a family dollar store in Newark, NJ ) Butchie(RIP), Det.Freeman and the rest of the major crimes unit. Micheal, Dukey, Randy and Namon, You four gave the youths a chance to see how having choices are very important. I will miss you all.
HBO can you please Keep the writers on staff so they bring us some more ground breaking novels out of their heads…….

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Al January 7, 2008 at 10:13 am

Love the show, great story line, great actors. It’s a shame that Emmy people
did not recognize the quality of this show. But give Emmys to all the other garbage on TV. Sorry to see it go.
Al

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