Deadwood dies and The Shield lives

Over in the States, it’s the start of the summer, which means less telly. Or at least it used to.

The big US cable channels have slowly cottoned on to the idea that people will still watch shows during the sweltering summer months, and the likes of HBO and co have been switching their schedules to grab the audiences.

One of the shows running in summer is Deadwood, the series which features guns, whores, cowboys and TV’s Ian McShane swearing like he’s just been handed a profanisaurus. But there’s been some bad news for Deadwood fans – the show, which kicks off its third season this month, won’t be getting a fourth. And the reason is that creator David Milch is just too darned busy. He’s already at work on another show, about a surf-loving private eye. And his HBO overlords weren’t exactly thrilled at keeping the cast available by paying them lucrative contracts.

But there’s hope on the horizon. The channel has agreed to greenlight four hours’ worth of a Deadwood finale event – two batches of two hours, which would help to wrap up the storyline. Since the series sticks as closely as possible to what’s known about the frontier town’s history, it would have ended next season any way – as Deadwood was destroyed after fours years. But Sky and DVD viewers take heart: you will see a proper finale.

Even better news has just hit for anyone who loves the conniving, ultraviolent antics of Michael Chiklis’ Vic Mackey on The Shield. The show, which airs on Channel 5 over here, will get a seventh season. The FX cable channel in the States has greenlit 13 episodes to air in 2008. The series finished its fifth season earlier this year and has 10 more episodes – now to be the sixth season – planned for next year. Hurrah for dirty cops!

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