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HBO Renews The Wire, Acclaimed Drama Series From David Simon, for Its Fifth Season


September 13, 2006 - The critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO drama series The Wire has been renewed for a fifth season, it was announced today by Carolyn Strauss, president, HBO Entertainment. Created and executive produced by David Simon, the show just kicked off its 13-episode fourth season last Sunday, Sept. 10, and debuts new episodes Sunday nights (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT).

“We are delighted - though not surprised - at the initial critical response to the new season of The Wire,” said Strauss. “David Simon and his remarkable team have created a riveting and thought-provoking series that’s unlike anything else on TV.”

Having depicted an American city over the course of 50 episodes, The Wire will use its fifth and concluding season to examine the role of the mass media within that city.

The new fourth season has already prompted resounding critical praise. The New York Times said the show “is the closest that moving pictures have come so far to the depth and nuance of the novel.” Daily Variety observed, “When television history is written, little else will rival The Wire,” hailing the show for its “extraordinary depth and ambition.” Entertainment Weekly called the series “a staggering achievement,” while the Washington Post described it as “electrifying and disturbing...a gripping saga,” and the New York Post termed it “the single finest piece of work ever produced for American TV.”

Season four of The Wire centers on the lives of four young boys as they traverse adolescence in the drug-saturated streets of West Baltimore. The new episodes of the series examine their world through the theme of education, asking viewers to consider the world that awaits these boys, and to consider further the American commitment to equal opportunity.

The third season of The Wire ended its run in December 2004. The first season looked at the dysfunction inherent in the national drug war through the microcosm of a West Baltimore housing project, while the second season addressed the decline of the working class by focusing on a longshoremen’s union and its struggle to survive. In its third season, the drama further developed its portrait of a fictional Baltimore by exploring the role of the political leadership in addressing a city’s problems or reforming its institutions.

Says Simon, a former newspaperman and the author of two books of narrative nonfiction, “The last question we want to ask is this: For four seasons, we have depicted that part of urban America that has been left behind by the economy and by the greater society, and chronicled entrenched problems that have gone without solution for generations now. Why? What is it that we see and sense about these problems? To what are we giving attention, and what is it that we consistently ignore? How do we actually see ourselves?”

The Wire was created by David Simon. Fourth season credits: executive producers, David Simon and Nina Kostroff Noble; co-executive producer, Joe Chappelle; producers, Edward Burns and Karen Thorson; consulting producer, Eric Overmyer.


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