Deadwood Lives to Fight Again

Deadwood is far from dead.

Home Box Office has ordered a third season of the western drama from creator and executive producer David Milch (NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues) with production on the 12 new episodes set to begin later this year. The new installments will bow sometime in 2006.

Deadwood is a dazzling and unpredictable show that has connected with both subscribers and critics,” said HBO Entertainment president Carolyn Strauss in a statement. “I’m thrilled that David Milch will bring us more episodes of this intriguing series next year.”

Deadwood, four weeks into its second season, centers on fictional and historic characters in the Deadwood camp in the Black Hills of South Dakota, circa 1876, after General George Custer’s rout at the hands of the Sioux. Situated on Indian land, the town remains officially removed from the confines of the law and its inhabitants work to come to grips with the lure of gold, prostitution and other opportunities.

Deadwood was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards last year, winning two for directing and sound editing. It also scored a Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in TV drama series for Ian McShane, who portrays Al Swearengen, the town’s lecherous, foul-mouthed bordello proprietor.

There was no word at press time about renewal prospects for a third season of Carnivale, which completed its second-season run March 27.