HBO’s new western drama “Deadwood” is set to debut March 21 on one of America’s most popular television channels, sources close to the production say.
Thirteen segments already have been filmed since HBO began production in July. Set in 1876 – two weeks after Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Big Horn – the hour-long drama tells the story of just and unjust men in the lawless town of Deadwood. The show will incorporate well-known historical figures such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock, as well as a roster of fictionalized characters, according to HBO.
The creator, executive producer and lead writer is David Milch, whose credits include such groundbreaking television series as “NYPD Blue” and “Hill Street Blues.” “Deadwood” stars Keith Carradine (“Nashville,” “Pretty Baby”) as the legendary gunslinger Hickok, Timothy Olyphant (“Go,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds”) as marshal turned merchant Bullock, and Robin Weigert (“Mary and Rhoda”) as Calamity Jane. The ensemble cast also includes Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif and John Hawkes.
Local and state tourism officials have lauded the new series, contending it could increase awareness of the outstanding history of Deadwood, the Black Hills and South Dakota, in the same manner that Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” did more than a decade ago.
"We’re extremely excited that HBO has put Deadwood in the cross-hairs with this original new series,” said George Milos, executive director of the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. “Our organization is currently working with South Dakota Tourism, Black Hills Badlands & Lakes and other groups to effectively market this program for the benefit of the entire state of South Dakota.”
Milos said as many as 15 million viewers could see the program each week. He also noted that HBO already has ordered 13 more segments, ensuring at least a two-year run of “Deadwood."