But now comes word that Deadwood--which blends Shakespearean flights of dialogue with prodigious profanity, and portrays one of the American West’s most lawless mining camps in all its greedy, lethal, and sometimes heart-rending glory--might not be headed for Boot Hill, after all. It’s a long shot, but Milch tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that he’s hoping to hit up deep-pocketed private sources for cash necessary to keep Deadwood on the air. At least for another season, which is apparently all Milch had in mind when he started the show. The Inquirer explains that a season of this lush 1870s drama runs 12 episodes, with each episode costing something “north of $5 million.”
“I’m doing what I can,” Milch says. “Any financial participation could take the pressure off. HBO hasn’t said no. ... If I were a gambling guy, which I am, I’d say odds are less than even money.”He adds that “The actors were as shocked as I was” that there wouldn’t be a fourth season, especially after HBO seemed prepared to approve a series extension even before season three debuted. But apparently, the audience numbers for Deadwood just haven’t grown fast enough to satisfy the Time Warner-owned HBO and its demanding advertisers. (“Cocksuckers!” as almost any character on Milch’s series might complain.)
Milch says he’s looking into possible tie-ins with casinos and theme parks as well as with the actual community of Deadwood, S.D. Imaginative marketing, he calls it.
Does anybody out there have $60 million to spare?