The story for the beginnings of Deadwood, one of the greatest shows on television, goes thusly: David Milch, already known as a writer and creator for Hill Street Blues and N.Y.P.D. Blue as well as a professor of literature at Yale, went into a meeting with HBO executives to pitch an idea for a show that revolved around the notion of how law and order comes to be, how these things are established from nothing, how chaos is reigned. Milch wanted to set the series in Rome. That’s when HBO told him that they already have a show set in Rome that was beginning production. “Did I say Rome…?” Milch is said to have asked.
Deadwood and its cancellation is one of the baffling decisions made about T.V. up to that point in time. To say that the show was Shakespearean is not hyperbole. It’s a true artistic achievement. (What other show could teach one to swear with so much grace and wit?) And in 2006 when the show ended, and all of its fans — not a lot, but still many — wondered how a show so lauded could get the axe and how the powers that be could end such a work on a cliffhanger. That was that. Deadwood was over, and there was nothing any of us could do about it. Each year brought rumors on top of rumors that the show would be resurrected. It became the boy who cried wolf, though, as fans saw the possibility of it returning as only a wish.
The news is out, though: Deadwood will be back.
With the confirmation that HBO and Milch are finishing the Deadwood movie that’s likely to tie up some loose knots, we at the The Alabama Take will venture back to the ole days of 2004 television and review all of the previous episodes in a lead up to the movie’s premiere this spring. We hope that you’ll join us in our watch, if it’s for your first or hundredth time.
See you soon, hoopleheads.