FAQAdd to FAQ (Coming Soon)
On May 13, 2006, HBO confirmed it had opted not to pick up the options of the actors, which were set to expire on June 11, 2006. This meant that a fourth season with the current cast as it stood was unlikely, though HBO had stressed that the show was not cancelled and talks regarding its future were continuing. The chances of the show returning with its current lineup of cast and crew, however, were limited.
On June 5, 2006, HBO and creator David Milch agreed to make two two-hour television films in place of a fourth season, after Milch declined a short-order of 6 episodes. This was because in the show's original form, each season was only a few weeks in length, with each episode being one day, in the town of Deadwood. The final two-hour format would release these time restraints and allow for a broader narrative to finish off the series.
In a January 13, 2007 interview, David Milch stated that he still intended to finish the two films, if possible. On July 12, 2007, HBO executives admitted that producing the telefilms would be difficult and put the chances of their ever being made at "50-50".
Actor Ian McShane claimed in an interview on October 1, 2007 that the show's sets were due to be dismantled and that the movies would not be made; however he was referring to the show-related set pieces, i.e. front added to the buildings, props, etc., the set as itself, "Melody Ranch", being unchanged at least as of 2010. Actors Jim Beaver and W. Earl Brown commented a day later that they considered the series to be over.
In the March 17, 2009 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, McShane repeated that 'Deadwood is dead.'
In a January 14, 2011 interview in Esquire, Milch said "I don't know that the last word has been said on the subject ... I still nourish the hope that we're going to get to do a little more work in that area." Edit (Coming Soon)
-2016 UPDATE!!!!- News sources are confirming that the long rumoured deadwood film is coming to fruition. Crack open the canned peaches!
Although the agreement to make 2 2-hour HBO movies to finish Deadwood's arc has been reached, the deal was tentative and shaky, so at the moment no real answer can be given. One hard fact is that as of now (April 9, 2007) the movies have not yet begun filming. Milch has collaborated with another writer on the movies, and the last time he was heard from on the subject he said he would like to begin the filming of the first movie in summer 2007 once his new project, John From Cincinnati, was wrapped up. However, the only facts are the movies *might* be made and have not been yet. We are all waiting and, if prior experience with HBO is any indication, we won't know for sure until the moment it is definitely being made (or isn't).
2013 UPDATE: There were initial plans to conclude the series with two special TV movies, but the plans have not come to fruition. Several of the stars have since commented that the series is now unlikely to return. HBO had repeatedly asserted that the two movies could still be made, but it noted in July 2008 that the possibility of the two TV movies being made was very low.
Edit (Coming Soon)
The structuring of a Television episode is different than a movie. The pacing is different as well. The only way to hold more information in 6 hour long episodes than 4 hours worth of a movie would be for every episode to end abruptly and begin right where the last one left off. Which just doesn't work well for TV. Every episode has to have an arc. A beginning, a climax and an end. While it's not uncommon to have a cliffhanger ending it is still done to a certain structure. Edit (Coming Soon)