HBO Turned Down THE WIRE Spin-Off Focusing on Tommy Carcetti; David Simon also Says They Considered a Season Featuring Immigration

     October 17, 2014


Last night, PaleyFest held a panel for the critically acclaimed HBO series, The Wire, a show you’re not allowed to dislike in any way or else you’ll be considered a heretic and a heathen (read my review of every season!).  The panel included creator and showrunner David Simon, executive producer Nina Noble, and cast members Wendell Pierce, Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, Seth Gilliam, Jim True-Frost, John Doman, Tristan Wilds, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., and Jamie Hector.

The group shared a bunch of stories, but among the most intriguing was Simon’s reveal that they wanted to spin off Tommy Carcetti (Aiden Gillen) into his own series following season three.  Hit the jump for more

the-wire-season-5-posterAccording to BuzzFeed News [via The Playlist], HBO responded to Simon’s idea for a Carcetti spinoff with, “No, we only want one show that nobody is watching in Baltimore, not two!”

While The Wire is now widely considered to be one of the best shows ever made, it had difficulty finding an audience during its time on air, and it isn’t difficult to see why.  It’s a street-level series filled with complex storylines that continued to expand every season.  Technically, each season had a focus, but with the exception of the docks in season two, these seasons became heavily layered and intertwined.  The drug angle never went away, the Baltimore politics introduced into season three remained prominent to the end of the series, main characters from the schools stuck around, and the newspaper provided a nice coverage of the entire series.  Compare that to the sexiness of its HBO contemporaries like The Sopranos or Sex and the City, and it’s easy to see why The Wire had trouble catching fire.

It’s also a matter of time period since TV recapping was still in its infancy, and there wasn’t much in the way of distribution when it came to tracking down HBO series.  DVD sets used to be ridiculously expensive (I remember when a season of Carnivale cost $100), so The Wire was a show primarily available to those wealthy enough to either have HBO or buy the DVDs.

the-wire-tommy-carcettiNow the series has a much bigger fanbase, and it’s a bit of a bummer we never saw a Carcetti spinoff where he has to eat “bowls of shit” in every episode.

Simon also told the crowd that they were considering a season on the topic of immigration, and “it was debated in the writers’ room, but it’s like, by the time we do the research, learn the Spanish, the train’s already rolling along and you can’t stop it. We were just begging HBO to give us another season.”  That’s not a bad idea considering how it could tie in to drugs, the human trafficking from season two, and obviously the politics.

Alas, the show never took hold long enough to tackle that kind of topic, but at least we got five seasons.  And now, with Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and cheap DVD sets, it’s much easier to see The Wire, so you’re running on low on excuses to not come at the king.