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August 31, 2015

HBO not whacked without Sopranos

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 26th 2007 6:23PM

HBO hasn't been able to replicate the success of its biggest hit to date, The Sopranos, but that doesn't seem to bother its subscribers. According to Reuters, even experts such as senior analyst Deana Myers, who's been tracking premium cable viewing patterns for the past decade, are surprised. While she says "it did seem like it was going to go down," those numbers in fact increased slightly. Apparently the viewers weren't hanging onto HBO just to see how the saga of mobster Tony Soprano turned out after all.

New original shows, post-Sopranos, never quite mustered the same ratings muscle, even when they achieved similar critical praise like Deadwood and Entourage. Other shows like Carnivale, Lucky Louie and John from Cincinatti were canceled outright. The models are complicated and the factors many, as the article details, but my theory is simple. Viewers are simply still tuning in waiting for that final fade to black to fade back and show the ending of the series.

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I was thinking how HBO used to be ahead of the curve. They were doing serial dramas (Sopranos, Carnivale) before they became your typical network fare.

I really miss Carnivale--it was so ahead of its creative time. And that we got no resolution just irks me to no end.

November 27 2007 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Wire is enough to get me to subscribe.

November 27 2007 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I got the deal with DirecTV when i signed up for the NFL package and got all the premium channels included for 6 months free, HBO included. I plan on canceling as soon as the deal runs out, as HBO is basically useless. I have never seen the Sopranos nor care to. I loved Deadwood, like Big Love and Entourage, and also like Curb. The thing is, these shows come out on DVD, so I just rent them and burn the discs so I don't ever pay the ridiculous prices. Showtime definitely has the better shows with Weeds, Californication and Dexter.

November 27 2007 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

C'mon we are all hanging around with HBO for the final season of the Wire which at it's worst is still better than the Sopranos ever was.

I also look forward to the George R. R. Martin adaptation as well and I believe I have had HBO pretty much since it's inception in the 80s.

November 26 2007 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We've had HBO for 4 years. I never purposely watched the Sopranos...I wouldn't say I hated it but I did find it insipid.

We do like Entourage and of course Flight of the Conchords is genius. Big Love my wife watches and enjoys. Sopranos...why bother on a cheesey rehash of the already cliche Godfather series?

November 26 2007 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know Big Love has only been on the air for two seasons, but I think much more highly of it than The Sopranos. I've always thought The Sopranos was overrated, though, oddly enough, I did love the ending (very existential). Both series are about "family", but I feel Big Love reflects what I would call "clan dynamics" far better than The Sopranos ever did. Whenever I see the one of the Hendricksons driving the station wagon out to Juniper Creek, I recall the stories my mother told me about when she was a girl and had to make the journey from St. Louis to rural Arkansas to see her mother's family, who, I've found out through genealogy, occupied most of that particular county. Although Big Love has the Mormon/polygamist angle, the themes extend brilliantly beyond it into the ordinary American experience.

November 26 2007 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Seth Brower

I dont know if it will be the hit in the numbers, but I am looking forward to the adaptation of George R.R. Martins "Song of Fire & Ice" series of novels into a television event.
If you hadn't heard, they are working with the author to adapt the series in the format of one book per season, allowing for there to be plenty of material to carry them forward, as well as not having to cut out important story elements for time.

November 26 2007 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't forget the hilarious Flight of the Conchords!

November 26 2007 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Stevens

The only reason why I have HBO at all is that it was free with my cable package for a limited time. If I were going to buy a premium TV package, it would be Showtime. I suspect I'm not the only one.

November 26 2007 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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