LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - In the category of good things come to those who wait, fans of "The Sopranos" most likely won't see new episodes of the mob drama until early 2004. The fifth season had been scheduled for a fall 2003 premiere.
When the show finally does return, though, it could be around for as many as six additional episodes beyond its usual complement of 13.
That's the word from series creator David Chase, who says the storyline he's planned for the coming season -- which he has previously said would be the last for "The Sopranos" -- couldn't necessarily be contained to 13 hours.
"I'd planned out an arc for Season 5 that would have ended the show," Chase tells the New York Daily News. "But as we're getting into it, we're finding there's a lot more material. We could cram it into 13 episodes, but I don't know that it's the right thing to do. So there may be additional episodes."
HBO and Chase are talking about making additional episodes. "I suspect they'll be okay with that," Chase says.
Chase wasn't too worried during the short but intense period when "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini threatened not to show up for work without a substantial raise.
"I just felt it would probably work out. And if it didn't, there's nothing you could do about it," Chase says.
The two sides settled the matter quickly, with Gandolfini getting more money per episode, though not as much as he had initially demanded.
The issue lingered briefly on the set of the show, but Chase says it went away fairly quickly once everyone got to work.
"Our first episodes are always kind of troubled, for one reason or another," he says. "And let's just say that this one was, too. But now it's going real well."
I hope the wait is worth it.
"Oh my God, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits! It says, 'Oooooo!'" Peter Griffin "Peter, those are Cheerios." Brian
I think the point of the show was to allow the designers an opportunity to show what they can do when not constrained by money. Laurie and Doug are two of the designers who's concepts get most hamstrung by the low budget.