Deadwood, HBO's acclaimed (and historically rooted) American Western series, took its final bow on August 27th 2006, when the climactic episode of its too-short three-season run hit the premium cable network's airwaves. Following its premature (but perhaps not unceremonious) exit from television, talk circulated about the chance of resolving Deadwood's overarching narrative and various character arcs with a film, perhaps two; since we're now knee-deep 2014, it shouldn't take much thought to deduce that the talk ultimately proved cheap. Deadwood, for all intents and purposes, is kaput.
In the intervening years, creator David Milch has tried his hand at a few other enterprises here and there, none of which have been successful (and all of which ran through HBO's brand); Luck lasted a single season, a Herculean feat of endurance compared to John From Cincinatti (which made it two months), The Last of the Ninth (which produced naught more than a pilot), and The Money (which got pulled not long after being greenlit). Hard times for a man who can claim credit on a show of Deadwood's caliber.
All of this makes the notion that the show could come back to tie up its loose ends through a fourth season seem highly unlikely. But maybe not. Kim Dickens, who played saloon hostess and eventual brothel owner Joanie Stubbs, has hope. More importantly, she thinks Milch does, too, which anybody in their right mind will take with a grain of salt. Be that as it may, Dickens' recent comments to TV Line on the red carpet at this year's Emmy ceremony may strike some as exciting, if wildly anemic.
Dickens attended the event to help represent for post-Katrina drama Treme, which wound down to its own rightful conclusion last year and snagged a few nominations in recognition of its excellence (though it won nothing for its troubles). Speaking in a brief interview, she touched on the disappointment she felt at Deadwood's cancellation, as well as the cast's joint desire to see its story through to the end; she also mentioned chatting with Milch, though not when, and apparently he's still optimistic about the chances of a revival.
Here's the quote from Dickens:
You know what, join the club, because we all feel sort of heartbroken for it, and for David. He's the true creative genius behind it, and he knew he needed four seasons, that's it. He had a perfect wrapping it up place. You know, I've spoken to him about it, and I think he harbors a hope and he's always open to the possibility.
Hope is a wonderful drive, but it's hard to get a canned show back on the air nearly a decade after getting the boot. The really frustrating part about Dickens' remarks is that she's speaking for Milch, so we're getting the information third hand.
He probably is open to the possibility of a season 4, not just because he apparently has a great way to properly draw the curtains on his story, but because the guy hasn't gotten any decent work since Deadwood petered out. Of course he's hopeful - he kind of has to be. But that doesn't mean he's having lunch with anybody to hash out the details of a Deadwood comeback, so take Dickens' thoughts very lightly.
That being said, HBO is in a different place now than it was eight years ago. Shows like Game of Thrones have done incredible business and helped push boundaries on what television can offer, while Boardwalk Empire proves the network's efficacy with producing sterling historical dramas. Maybe they're more willing to take a chance on Milch and the dusty frontier world of Deadwood once more. Given the series' steadfast fanbase (which has only grown in size between now and the aughts), HBO arguably stands to gain more than they might lose. Seems like a reasonable gamble.
But maybe the show should stay in the 2000s. There are worse ways to cut a program short. 'Tell Him Something Pretty' is a pretty perfect way to end any historical yarn. What do you think? Should Milch get a second shot at completing his vision for Deadwood?
We'll keep you informed on Deadwood's fate should any developments come up.
Source: TV Line