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David Simon Wrote A ‘Wire’ Spin-Off Focusing On Tommy Carcetti That HBO Turned Down

David Simon Wrote A 'Wire' Spin-Off Focusing On Tommy Carcetti That HBO Turned Down

Last night, “The Wire” returned. Sort of. More accurately, creator David Simon and executive producer Nina Noble, and cast members Wendell Pierce, Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, Seth Gilliam, Jim True-Frost, John Doman, Tristan Wilds, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., and Jamie Hector reunited at PaleyFest to talk about the HBO show nobody watched at the time, but that everyone now loves. And there was no shortage of stories to tell, but perhaps the most enticing tale is about “The Wire” spinoff we never got.

“We were actually trying to spin off the city hall show and do a political show,” Simon revealed to BuzzFeed News, explaining it would’ve focused on Aiden Gillen‘s politician Tommy Carcetti. “We wrote a bunch of scripts that would spin off after Season 3 of ‘The Wire.’ But HBO said, ‘No, we only want one show that nobody is watching in Baltimore, not two!’ ”

Our hearts are retroactively broken at the potential that would’ve offered, but it’s easy to understand why HBO balked. Considering they let the show even get to five seasons is nothing short of a miracle.

“HBO were pretty indifferent to the controversial content — they just would’ve liked to have an audience while the show was on the air. To their credit, they stayed with it, because I’ve never actually done anything for them that had an audience while it was on,” Simon told Variety.
“You know, television has more of a shelf life than it used to, so… because this was five seasons, they had to have a certain amount of faith in it. But the last couple seasons were kinda hairy. They were looking at it like, ‘Look, you’ve got all the critical notices on this, why are we trying to snatch something more? We don’t seem to be building an audience,” he continued. “That’s also what the show was about: bad short-term decisions affecting the long run. We were considering a season on the topic of immigration, it was debated in the writers’ room, but it’s like, by the time we do the research, learn the Spanish, the train’s already rolling along and you can’t stop it. We were just begging HBO to give us another season.”

And well, while that proposed season sounds great, again it’s pretty amazing we managed to get as much “The Wire” as we did. Be sure to check out both Buzzfeed and Variety for more tidbits from the talk including the fact that Rawls might’ve been gay, and the cast reaction to the pilot (it wasn’t good). And if you haven’t seen “The Wire,” we’d wager you’ll be able to stream it to your heart’s content when HBO launches their streaming service next year. And don’t forget, Simon is already at work on his next project for the network, the awesome sounding “Show Me A Hero.”

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