As expected, HBO has confirmed that the David Milch co-created drama John from Cincinnati won’t be back for a second season.
John debuted on June 10, 2007 and told the somewhat confusing story of a mysterious young man and his affect on a community of surfers. The series premiere followed The Sopranos series finale but retained less than a third of Sopranos’ 12 million viewers. The subsequent episodes of John have averaged just 1.2 million. As a result, HBO has cancelled John after 10 episodes — the first time that the pay-per-view channel has dropped an hour-long series after a single season. The John finale aired this past Sunday and ended on a cliffhanger.
Despite Milch’s reputation, critics almost universally disliked John. It also didn’t help that many viewers resented the show before they even saw it. HBO’s pickup of John from Cincinnati was often cited as a factor in the cancellation of Milch’s popular Deadwood series.
Now that John has been cancelled, does this mean that Milch will finally get around to making the Deadwood wrap-up movies? After all, HBO execs recently indicated that Milch’s commitment to John was at least partly responsible for the movies’ stall. There may be more to the story than that.
Milch is said to be extending his present development deal with the premium cable network past 2008. He is reportedly working on a number of new projects for HBO but the Deadwood movies don’t seem to be among them. Milch is keeping mum on the subject these days and seems disinterested when he does talk about them.
In a time when HBO has lost much of its “must see” programming, it would make sense for them to make the Deadwood movies to help hold onto subscribers. But, with the likely high cost of reassembling the Deadwood cast and Milch’s seeming desire to move on, the demise of John from Cincinnati may not be enough to get them made. Stay tuned!