Season 3 of “Treme” premiered on HBO Sunday (Sept. 23), and word came over the weekend that the cable channel has renewed the series for a fourth and final season as well.
It’s a bit of a good news-bad news situation, though: The final season will be shorter than the previous ones.
“We are going to be back for a season 3.5,” co-creator David Simon said before a premiere screening in New Orleans, the Times-Picayune reports. “HBO, upon viewing the 10 [Season 3 episodes] that we gave them and what we’ve done, they want to see the end of the story. They fought very hard to give us half a loaf. We’re going to take it and run.”
Exactly what “half a loaf” means has yet to be determined. Simon writes in an e-mail to Hitfix that HBO gave him and co-creator Eric Overmyer “a lump sum to budget a conclusion to ‘Treme,'” and they’re trying to determine how best to use the money. Simon says he expects they’ll be able to produce “between four and six hours of programming.”
Simon has said in the past that he and his fellow writers had enough story for four seasons of “Treme,” which is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. The show draws a fairly small audience, but HBO has a long relationship with Simon and, because it doesn’t sell ads, doesn’t have to base its programming decisions solely on ratings.