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Deadwood: The HBO Explanation - Page 3

post #61 of 77
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Not gonna happen. The sets are either down, or coming down. Deadwood is dead! RIP!

I am not holding out any hope. Well, it was fun while it lasted. In honor of Deadwood "F**k those c**ks**king c**ts"
post #62 of 77
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Originally Posted by barth2k View Post

HBO: it's not TV, it's ... movies when Blockbuster or netflix is too much of a hassle.

In a way, that's really it. As soon as we tried Netflix, our attraction towards HBO kinda vanished.

To be fair, though, unless what you want is available on HD-DVD/bluRay, and Netflix has it in stock available for you as readily as the regular DVDs, and you have the matching-format HD-DVD/bluRay player, then Netflix isn't quite as good as HBO HD, which is almost always in HD.
post #63 of 77
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Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

1. Several people bring up Rome as another example of HBO cutting a show short. I do not understand that. I do recall there was a possibility that they were not going to make the 2nd season because of operation costs. But I never remember hearing that it was ever going to go longer than two seasons. Can someone enlighten me on this?

I think the point is that there was never any intention NOT to go more than two seasons. The decision was made to stop after two seasons, not because they couldn't figure out a way to set up a third season of the story. It wasn't because any of the actors refused to return. If I remember correctly, there was mention that at least part of the rationale for not renewing Rome for a third season was financial.

Contrast that with The Wire, where there are clear statements from artistic staff saying that the story will end with the fifth season.

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Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

2. I agree that HBO's original programming is nowhere near what it was. But how is that solely their fault?

Preaching to the choir here -- there is no fault. It's just the way things are.

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Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

Many seem to be blaming HBO for not airing quality, but how do we even know they have vetoed quality projects and the like?

I think here's where things get sticky: I think quality is available; quality, though, sometimes costs money -- money that has to be the best possible investment. And my guess is that that's not the case because television viewers don't reward programmers for providing expensive quality in anything close to direct proportion to cost.
post #64 of 77
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I think here's where things get sticky: I think quality is available; quality, though, sometimes costs money -- money that has to be the best possible investment. And my guess is that that's not the case because television viewers don't reward programmers for providing expensive quality in anything close to direct proportion to cost.

I think one of the problems is that HBO is part of a larger conglomerate. While HBO is hugely profitable, even when they're shelling out big bucks for fabulous period pieces like 'Deadwood', 'Rome', and 'Carnivale', the rest of the giganto corporation they belong to is not. So, they use HBO's revenues to prop up the poorly performing branches so that the all-important stockholders can continue to bask in those all-important quarterly gains. After all, as we've read here, that's all that should matter in a capitalistic society, right?

But the "artistic" side of HBO suffers in this scenario, and as a result, we get 'Deadwood' and the others canceled and 'Tell Me You Love Me' renewed even though they can easily afford to do them all, and retain their cache as the premiere provider of high-quality television. When the bean counters run things to this extent, the audience is deprived of what great productions the company's talent can create. And frankly, if HBO, with all their resources, isn't going to do this kind of stuff anymore, who is?
post #65 of 77
You're right Archiguy - HBO has maintained their penetration (27%-29% ?) and until that starts to drop, don't expect them to reverse course (back). Time Warner can take that Deadwood money and produce a couple new 10 episode a year originals and launch a new network or two. Then compel carriage in 100% of households. Makes much more sense.
post #66 of 77
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And frankly, if HBO, with all their resources, isn't going to do this kind of stuff anymore, who is?
post #67 of 77
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

And frankly, if HBO, with all their resources, isn't going to do this kind of stuff anymore, who is?

FX is my last hope. They've been doing well. Far better than HBO have in the new drama stakes over the past year or two. Pity about the ads, but at least they have some programming.

I can see them trying their hand at a western. Not with the same complexity of Deadwood but I don't think the genre is out of their view.
post #68 of 77
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I think the point is that there was never any intention NOT to go more than two seasons. The decision was made to stop after two seasons, not because they couldn't figure out a way to set up a third season of the story. It wasn't because any of the actors refused to return. If I remember correctly, there was mention that at least part of the rationale for not renewing Rome for a third season was financial.

See, I thought Rome was first considered a two year show. then after the lukewarm ratings they considered not finishing. But they went ahead and finished it as originally planned. People, myself included, might have wanted more, but there was never a plan to go past that third year. Or maybe that was as long as the joint companies (HBO,BBC) decided to go with it. and if they wanted to continue it they would have had to go it alone?

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I think here's where things get sticky: I think quality is available; quality, though, sometimes costs money -- money that has to be the best possible investment. And my guess is that that's not the case because television viewers don't reward programmers for providing expensive quality in anything close to direct proportion to cost.

I don't disagree with this at all.

Except for the implied "quality" that is available.

As archiguy stated, if HBO isn't going to do this stuff anymore who is?

SCIFI, SHO, SPIKE, USA? I would assume that these networks are not shelling out the big bucks for their "quality" shows. Atleast not big bucks that HBO would gladly have matched to air the programming instead.

I am leaning more towards HBO not having the proper people in place to know quality from crap.
post #69 of 77
I think we'll continue to get it, we'll just get it from the more hungry networks. Showtime is stepping up because they'd love to become the "new HBO". We're also seeing a lot of quality programming (albeit sans all the "c*cks*ck*rs") like Damages, The Shield, The Closer (not my cup of tea), etc. coming from the cablenets who are more aggressively jockeying for big carriage fee boosts at the next contract.

The problem with HBO is that the tremendous investment in original programming didn't result in a comparable increase in subscriptions and so far, a reduction in that investment hasn't resulted in a significant decline - yet.
post #70 of 77
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Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

I am leaning more towards HBO not having the proper people in place to know quality from crap.

Oh, I think the execs at HBO probably know the difference (the OAR haters excluded), but their bosses at Time Warner don't, or more accurately, don't care. If HBO were a stand alone company, we might very well be enjoying a forth season of 'Deadwood' right now. After all, if they didn't have the rest of the conglomerate to help prop up and impatient shareholders to mollify, then they might very well have a different mindset on how to spend all that cash - an artistic one. And all of us (the few, the proud...) who crave quality TV would benefit.
post #71 of 77
Well, I hate to be a broken record but the networks do respond to audience tastes, and by large the audience has taken a look at these great shows and then walked away toward something else. The shows we consider quality were simply not liked by most people, by the vast majority.

I had a few friends that loved Deadwood and the others, but mostly I heard "I don't want to watch a show where I can't understand what they're saying"--look at MadTVs skit about Deadwood :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpjoEK_nlSk

I heard similar things about Rome, that the plot was too hard to follow, couldn't keep track of who was who, etc.

People these days are telling all the Networks to keep it simple. There's a few exceptions as always, but by and large people are looking to tune out after a long day at work. It just sucks to be us! It's almost like we're saying "hey, we're just a small minority, but would you mind making some shows for us. Oh, and btw, these shows are probably going to cost three times as much as your normal programming."
post #72 of 77
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

But the "artistic" side of HBO suffers in this scenario, and as a result, we get 'Deadwood' and the others canceled and 'Tell Me You Love Me' renewed even though they can easily afford to do them all, and retain their cache as the premiere provider of high-quality television. When the bean counters run things to this extent, the audience is deprived of what great productions the company's talent can create. And frankly, if HBO, with all their resources, isn't going to do this kind of stuff anymore, who is?

You can imagine how may 'Tell Me You Love Me''s they can kick out for the cost of a 'Deadwood'.
post #73 of 77
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Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

I had a few friends that loved Deadwood and the others, but mostly I heard "I don't want to watch a show where I can't understand what they're saying"--look at MadTVs skit about Deadwood :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpjoEK_nlSk

Here's their "PAX-TV" version of "The Sopranos".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp4QVYNAFcQ
post #74 of 77
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Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

People these days are telling all the Networks to keep it simple. There's a few exceptions as always, but by and large people are looking to tune out after a long day at work. It just sucks to be us! It's almost like we're saying "hey, we're just a small minority, but would you mind making some shows for us. Oh, and btw, these shows are probably going to cost three times as much as your normal programming."

You may be right, but I looked forward to "tuning out" the rest of the world for an hour on Sunday nights with Sopranos, Carnivale and Deadwood.
post #75 of 77
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Originally Posted by maxman View Post

You can imagine how may 'Tell Me You Love Me''s they can kick out for the cost of a 'Deadwood'.

That show -- from the episode I saw -- would be greatly improved by the addition of a Swearingen-type character.
post #76 of 77
I post again to this dormant thread to report to my fellow Deadwood lovers that Deadwood was not the first place where David Milch first used the wonderful word, Hoople-head. In a 1996 NYPD Blue episode, The Backboard Jungle, Sipowicz referred to an arrogant, kid reporter, who was an eyewitness to a murder but was refusing to cooperate, as a hoople-head. It wasn't quite as it good as it was when Al Swearengen said it but it was pretty good, nonetheless.
post #77 of 77
Everything is better when Swearengen says it! I can't figure out the ****** roles McShane has been playing in. He was *born* to play the badguy. Anyone making a movie with any sort of evil CEO, crimelord etc should be throwing big money at McShane. Just make his character very similar to Swearengen and let him rip.

Normally scenes with the badguy early in the movie are just boring exposition, where the badguy lays groundwork for his evil schemes. With McShane, you get a 'heavy' who's interesting right off the bat, whether he's yelling at a lackey, or cleaning up a bloodstain. Most importantly, you get a bad guy who just scares the **** out of you, not because of muscles, or guns, but just because he's miles ahead of everyone. With McShane as the antagonist, you immediately feel like the hero is in over his head.
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