John From Cincinnati gets "Dear John" | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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John From Cincinnati gets "Dear John"


Deep-sixed: Austin Nichols sinks along with John From Cincinnati.

HBO has sent John From Cincinnati to a watery grave, canceling the mystical, but only occasionally magical surfer series after a 10-episode first season that ended Sunday.

The David Milch (Deadwood) creation premiered in a seemingly plush slot following June's controversial finale of The Sopranos.

That was probably a big mistake in retrospect, because few viewers were watching or concentrating. Instead they were buzzing about the abrupt, black-out ending to the greatest series in HBO's history. And with John From Cincinnati, all was lost if you didn't pay rapt attention from the start. Not that that necessarily mattered in the end. Milch had heads spinning to the point of absurdity. Sometimes it's far cooler to be at least halfway cogent.

The cancelation seemingly gives Milch a better shot at putting together a pair of Deadwood movies. Quizzed about this on the July TV "press tour," HBO executives said that a renewal of John From Cincinnati wouldn't work in Deadwood's favor.

"The truth of the matter is if we pick up John, David will have to go right back into working on that show for next summer," said HBO programming group president Michael Lombardo. "We'll discuss this with him and the schedule at the end of the summer."

Also problematic is a re-assembling of Deadwood's core cast, many of whom are committed to other projects.

"It 's doable. It will just be daunting," Lombardo said, gauging the chances at "50/50."

"It's certainly on our books as something we're still interested in," he said.