"Treme," "The Wire" creator David Simon's ode to a New Orleans in recovery after Hurricane Katrina, premiered last night to the bittersweet news that HBO was renewing the series for one more abbreviated season.
According to HitFix, the length of the season, which will be the show's fourth, has yet to be determined. Simon told the site:
HBO has offered us a lump sum to budget a conclusion to "Tremé," and we are trying to figure out how to stretch that amount in the best possible way. Right now, we are tentatively looking at anywhere between four and six hours of programming, depending on a variety of things. It's half a loaf, but it represents a sincere effort by Mike Lombardo and Richard Plepler to end the narrative properly. We'll do the best we can with the story arcs and try to conclude "Tremé" in a resonant way.
While it's sad to hear that the end is now in sight for "Treme," it can only be looked at as a good thing that the series and creators Simon and Eric Overmyer will have a chance to close out the story and offer some kind of planned goodbye to the many characters. HitFix also confirmed that all of the actors would return for the final season, not a given considering it wasn't in the terms of their contracts.
"Treme," while critically acclaimed, has never been a major ratings success for HBO. Then again, neither was "The Wire" when it originally aired -- the drama's place in the upper echelons of great TV was earned, for most, when it was discovered on DVD after coming to an end.
Check back tomorrow for our thoughts on the new season of "Treme."