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Deadwood (TV series)

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Title: Deadwood (TV series)  
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Deadwood (TV series)

Genre Western
Historical drama
Created by David Milch
Theme music composer David Schwartz
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 36 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David Milch
Gregg Fienberg
Mark Tinker
Running time 48–60 minutes
Production company(s) Roscoe Productions
Red Board Productions
Paramount Network Television
CBS Paramount Network Television
Original channel HBO
Original release March 21, 2004 (2004-03-21) – August 27, 2006 (2006-08-27)
External links

Deadwood is an American George Hearst. The plot lines involving these characters include historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements. Milch used actual diaries and newspapers from 1870s Deadwood residents as reference points for characters, events, and the look and feel of the show. Some of the characters are fully fictional, although they may have been based on actual persons.

Deadwood received wide critical acclaim, particularly for Milch's writing and Ian McShane's co-lead performance.[2] It also won eight Emmy Awards (in 28 nominations) and one Golden Globe. TV Guide ranked it #8 on their 2013 list of 60 shows that were "Cancelled Too Soon".[3] There were initial plans to conclude the series with two TV films,[4] but those plans never came to fruition. In August 2015, talks resumed between HBO and Milch regarding a film.[5]

The show was produced by Red Board Productions and Roscoe Productions in association with HBO and Paramount Network Television (CBS Paramount Network Television in season 3).


  • Cast 1
    • Main cast 1.1
    • Recurring cast 1.2
  • Themes 2
  • Production 3
  • Plot 4
    • Season 1 (2004) 4.1
    • Season 2 (2005) 4.2
    • Season 3 (2006) 4.3
  • Use of profanity 5
  • Critical reception 6
  • Awards 7
  • Cancellation 8
  • Home video releases 9
  • Music 10
    • Opening credits 10.1
    • Closing credits 10.2
      • Season 1 10.2.1
      • Season 2 10.2.2
      • Season 3 10.2.3
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Main cast

Actor Character Based on Profession
Timothy Olyphant Seth Bullock Seth Bullock Sheriff/Co-owner of Star & Bullock Hardware
Ian McShane Al Swearengen Al Swearengen Owner of The Gem Saloon
Molly Parker Alma Garret Widow of claim seeker, later married to Ellsworth
Jim Beaver Whitney Ellsworth Prospector/husband to Alma Garret
W. Earl Brown Dan Dority Dan Doherty Gem Saloon worker
Dayton Callie Charlie Utter Charlie Utter Friend of Hickok/deputy to Sheriff Bullock
Kim Dickens Joanie Stubbs Loosely based on Dora DuFran Former hostess of The Bella Union/owner of The Chez Amis
Brad Dourif Doc Cochran Lyman F. Babcock Physician
Anna Gunn Martha Bullock Martha Bullock Wife of Seth, mother of William
John Hawkes Sol Star Sol Star Co-owner of Star & Bullock Hardware
Jeffrey Jones A. W. Merrick A. W. Merrick Editor of The Deadwood Pioneer
Paula Malcomson Trixie Based on a number of "Tricksies" who were prostitutes at The Gem Prostitute
Leon Rippy Tom Nuttall Billy Nuttall Owner of Nuttall's #10 Saloon
William Sanderson E. B. Farnum E. B. Farnum Owner of The Grand Central Hotel
Robin Weigert Calamity Jane Calamity Jane Friend of Hickok/scout
Sean Bridgers Johnny Burns Johnny Burns Gem Saloon worker
Garret Dillahunt Francis Wolcott L. D. Kellogg Geologist for George Hearst
Titus Welliver Silas Adams Emissary of Magistrate Claggett turned crony of Al Swearengen
Brent Sexton Harry Manning Barman at Nuttall's #10 Saloon
Powers Boothe Cy Tolliver Tom Miller Owner of The Bella Union
Keith Carradine Wild Bill Hickok Wild Bill Hickok Famed gunslinger
Bree Seanna Wall Sofia Metz Adopted daughter of Alma; sole survivor of an attack on her family
Josh Eriksson William Bullock Loosely based on Douglas Kislingbury Stepson of Seth; biological son of Robert and Martha Bullock

Recurring cast

Actor Character Based on Profession
Timothy Omundson Brom Garrett Alma's husband and claim seeker
Ricky Jay Eddie Sawyer Card shark employed at The Bella Union
Pasha Lychnikoff Blazanov Operator of Deadwood's telegraph service
Larry Cedar Leon Worker for Cy Tolliver
Peter Jason Con Stapleton Con Stapleton Worker for Cy Tolliver
Geri Jewell Jewel Caulfield Disabled cleaning woman at the Gem
Keone Young Mr. Wu Boss of the Chinese population; owns a pig pen and laundry
Garret Dillahunt Jack McCall Jack McCall Murderer of Wild Bill Hickok
Richard Gant Hostetler Black livery owner
Sarah Paulson Miss Isringhausen Tutor to Sofia/Pinkerton agent
Franklyn Ajaye Samuel Fields Samuel Fields Self-proclaimed "Nigger General"
Ray McKinnon Reverend Smith Henry Weston Smith Minister of Deadwood
Alice Krige Maddie Madam of the Chez Amis
Zach Grenier Andy Cramed Andy Cramed Gambler who brought smallpox to Deadwood, later minister
Stephen Tobolowsky Commissioner Jarry Hugh McCaffrey Commissioner for Lawrence County, Dakota Territory
Ralph Richeson Pete Richardson Cook at the Grand Central
Michael Harney Steve Fields Takes over livery stable when Hostetler leaves camp
Gerald McRaney George Hearst George Hearst California businessman and prospector
Brian Cox Jack Langrishe Jack Langrishe Stage promoter
Allan Graf Captain Joe Turner Enforcer for Hearst
Cleo King Aunt Lou Lucretia Marchbanks Hearst's personal cook
Omar Gooding Odell Son of Aunt Lou
Monty "Hawkeye" Henson Hawkeye Assistant to Silas Adams
Gale Harold Wyatt Earp Wyatt Earp Legendary Western lawman


Milch has pointed out repeatedly in interviews that the intent of the show was to study the way that civilization comes together from chaos by organizing itself around symbols (in Deadwood the main symbol is gold). Initially, he intended to study this within Roman civilization (the central symbol was to be the religious cross), but HBO's Rome series was already in production and Milch was asked by the network if he could stage the story in another place.[6] Although the series touches on a variety of issues including race, prostitution, misogyny, violence, politics and immigration, most of the major story lines are grounded in this issue of bringing order from chaos.


The first book that the show's creator, David Milch, purchased as research for the series was "Deadwood: The Golden Years" by Watson Parker, a historian who specialized in the history of the Black Hills.[7] Milch and his colleagues later bought many of Parker's books and papers as references for Deadwood.[7]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 12 March 21, 2004 (2004-03-21) June 13, 2004 (2004-06-13)
2 12 March 6, 2005 (2005-03-06) May 22, 2005 (2005-05-22)
3 12 June 11, 2006 (2006-06-11) August 27, 2006 (2006-08-27)

Season 1 (2004)

Deadwood Season 1 DVD

The first season takes place six months after the founding of the camp, soon after Custer's Last Stand.

In 1876, Seth Bullock leaves his job as a marshal in Montana to establish a hardware business in the gold-mining camp of Deadwood, along with his friend and business partner, Sol Star. Wild Bill Hickok, the infamous gunslinger of the west, is on a separate journey to Deadwood, accompanied by Charlie Utter and Calamity Jane.

Al Swearengen is the owner of The Gem, a local saloon and brothel. Other notable residents include Dr. Amos Cochran; A. W. Merrick, owner and editor of the local newspaper "The Pioneer"; and E. B. Farnum, proprietor of The Grand Central Hotel. Brom Garret, a wealthy businessman from New York City, lives at The Grand Central Hotel with his wife, Alma, who nurses a secret laudanum habit. Aware that Garret is interested in prospecting, Swearengen and Farnum deceive him into purchasing a gold claim in a confidence game. Newly arrived Cy Tolliver and his entourage purchase an abandoned hotel across from The Gem and begin renovations, then open the Bella Union Saloon, a luxurious gambling house and brothel.

Brom Garret soon learns that his gold claim is worthless and demands Swearengen reimburse his money. Swearengen orders Dan Dority to kill Garret and "make it look like an accident." Dority throws Garret off a cliff, only to discover that the claim is actually a rich one after all. Newly widowed Alma Garret asks Wild Bill Hickok for guidance regarding the gold claim and Swearengen's renewed interest. Hickok asks Bullock to advise Garret; Bullock agrees. Bullock suggests that Garret hire Whitney Ellsworth, a trustworthy and experienced prospector. Alma Garret takes custody of young Sofia Metz, whose family was murdered on the way back to Minnesota.

During a poker game, Wild Bill Hickok is murdered by Jack McCall in Tom Nuttall's #10 Saloon. When McCall is put on trial, Swearengen leans on the acting magistrate, suggesting that McCall must be acquitted to avoid scrutiny from Washington, D.C. The judge cuts the trial short and the jury acquits McCall, who leaves town immediately after the verdict. Bullock pursues McCall, determined to bring him to justice. Bullock and Charlie Utter later find McCall hiding at a boarding house and take him to Yankton for trial.

Smallpox spreads in Deadwood, creating an urgent need for vaccines. The afflicted are segregated from the main camp in plague tents. Calamity Jane aids Doctor Cochran in caring for the sick.

The senior members of the community form a municipal government to prepare for future annexation, as well as to bribe the territorial legislature, thereby ensuring the security of existing titles, claims and properties. Swearengen bribes local magistrate Clagett to quash a murder warrant.

Alma's father Otis Russell arrives with plans to secure Alma's new-found wealth in order to pay off his endless debts and fulfill his own greed. The U.S. army arrives in Deadwood and a parade is organized. Bullock confronts a self-confident Otis Russell in The Bella Union. When Russell threatens the safety of his own daughter should Bullock stand in the way of his acquiring the gold claim, Seth unceremoniously beats him and orders Russell to leave the camp.

The increasingly addled Reverend Smith, dying from an apparent General Crook to leave a garrison in Deadwood but is indignantly refused. When Magistrate Clagett attempts to extort Swearengen further over the murder warrant, Swearengen responds by enlisting Clagett's "toll collector," Silas Adams, to murder Clagett. Silas performs the deed and allies himself with Swearengen, becoming his agent. As Sheriff Con Stapleton has been compromised by Cy Tolliver, Bullock volunteers to become the new sheriff as the cavalry rides out of town.

Season 2 (2005)

Deadwood Season 2 DVD cover

Season two begins in 1877, seven months after the events of season 1, and the camp has become somewhat more orderly and civilized.

When Swearengen publicly disparages Bullock's abilities as sheriff, intimating that Bullock's focus is not on his job due to his affair with Alma Garret, Bullock removes his gun and badge and Swearengen and Bullock fight, accidentally falling over the Gem balcony. Al is about to slit Bullock's throat in the muddy street, but stops after looking up to see Bullock's wife Martha and her son William arriving in camp. Bullock tells Alma they must either leave camp or stop seeing one another. Garret agrees that it is better to end the relationship and remain in town. Calamity Jane resurfaces and manages to support Bullock and Utter in persuading Swearengen to return Bullock's gun and badge. A truce is made. Garret discovers she is pregnant by Bullock and confides in Trixie, who persuades Ellsworth to make a marriage proposal to Garret and influences Garret to accept the proposal in order to save her the humiliation of unwed motherhood.

Swearengen collapses in his office with the door locked. His concerned associates assume that he wants to be left alone, but as the day passes their alarm grows and they finally break into the office. Dr. Cochran diagnoses Al with kidney stones and performs a draining procedure. Swearengen eventually passes the stones, but has a small stroke in the process.

Joanie Stubbs opens her own brothel, The Chez Amis, with her newly arrived partner Maddie. Francis Wolcott, a geologist working for George Hearst, arrives in Deadwood and soon makes his presence felt at the Chez Amis. Wolcott has paid for transportation of most of the prostitutes, in order to cater to his selective tastes. Cy Tolliver learns of Wolcott's sexual proclivities and baits him, resulting in Wolcott murdering two of Joanie Stubb's prostitutes. When Maddie attempts to extort money from Wolcott, he kills her too. Cy Tolliver has the bodies removed and pardons Wolcott. Joanie sends the remaining girls away so that they will be safe from Wolcott. Joanie confides in Charlie Utter regarding the murders, extracting a promise that he never repeat the information.

Alma fires Miss Isringhausen, Sophia's tutor. Isringhausen turns to Silas Adams under the pretext of fear for her life at the hands of the Widow Garret, and they embark upon a relationship. Isringhausen convinces Adams to allow her to meet with Swearengen. At the meeting, she admits to being an agent of the Pinkertons under the employ of Brom Garret's family, who instructed Isringhausen to frame Alma for soliciting Swearengen to murder her husband. Swearengen agrees to play along, but later reveals to Garret that he intends to blackmail Isringhausen due to his hatred for the Pinkerton agency.

Samuel Fields, "The Nigger General", returns to camp. He tries to enlist Hostetler in his schemes. Bullock is forced to rescue him from an angry mob headed by Steve, a virulently racist drunk. Later, Hostetler catches a drunken Steve in the livery stable masturbating on Bullock's horse in revenge. Fields and Hostetler manage to coerce Steve into signing a written confession of bestiality. The admission will be publicized should Steve make any trouble for either of the livery workers in the future.

Hugo Jarry, a Yankton commissioner, tries to persuade Swearengen and Tolliver that Deadwood should become part of Dakota territory rather than Montana. He ends up siding with Swearengen.

Alma Garret enlists the help of Sol Star to establish a bank in the camp.

Wolcott's agent, Lee, burns the bodies of Chinese prostitutes who have died from malnourishment whilst in his remit. Mr. Wu is enraged and requests Swearengen's help to stop Lee. Because Lee is employed by Wolcott, who is in turn employed by George Hearst, Swearengen refuses any help until after negotiations over the town's future have been resolved. Mr. Wu escapes house arrest at The Gem, but is stopped by Johnny Burns just in time from exacting his revenge or being killed.

William Bullock is trampled by a horse that escapes during a failed gelding. The boy dies several hours after. His funeral is attended by many of Deadwood's citizens and the service is conducted by former card sharp Andy Cramed, who has returned to Deadwood an ordained minister.

George Hearst arrives in Deadwood and when he learns of the murders committed by Wolcott, confronts and fires him. Hearst purchases the Grand Central hotel from E. B. Farnum. The shamed Wolcott hangs himself. Tolliver claims to be in possession of a letter of confession in which Wolcott states that Hearst was aware of his murderous ways, yet continued his employment. Tolliver blackmails Hearst for 5% of every Gold Claim he has acquired in Deadwood.

Al Swearengen negotiates with George Hearst on behalf of Mr. Wu, and they agree that Wu can regain his status if his people prove to be better workers than those of the "San Francisco cocksucker" Lee. Mr. Wu and Swearengen's henchmen plan vengeance in Deadwood's Chinatown. The operation is successful and Wu slits the throat of his rival.

Alma Garret and Ellsworth marry at a ceremony conducted by Andy Cramed at the Grand Central hotel. After much dealing and double-dealing on the part of Swearengen and Silas Adams, the official papers confirming Deadwood's annexation into Yankton territory are signed by Bullock and Swearengen with Hugo Jarry present. Andy Cramed stabs Tolliver outside the Bella Union.

Season 3 (2006)

Deadwood Season 3 DVD cover

Season three begins six weeks after the events of season 2, government and law, as well as the interests of powerful commercial entities, begin to enter the town as Deadwood prepares itself for entry into Dakota Territory.

Hearst has several of his own Cornish miners murdered when they attempt to unionize. Elections are announced: Star and Farnum run for Mayor, while Bullock and barman Harry Manning compete for Sheriff. Angered that Hearst had someone killed in the Gem, Al cancels the election debates in an attempt to reassert his position in the camp. To teach Al a lesson and force him to help Hearst buy Alma's claim, Hearst has his lead henchman Captain Turner restrain Al, then chops off one of his fingers.

Over Ellsworth's strong objections, Alma meets with Hearst to discuss buying her claim. Hearst becomes furious when she offers him a merely non-controlling interest and behaves menacingly towards Alma, but then allows her to leave without following through on his implied threat of rape.

Tolliver slowly recovers after being stabbed and gets back on his feet. Hearst knows Cy is lying about having a letter from Wolcott but decides to employ Cy to help deal with the members of the camp. Traveling actor Jack Langrishe arrives in Deadwood with his theatre troupe. He is an old friend of Swearengen's and eventually buys the former Chez Amis from Joannie Stubbs on condition that he build a new school house for the camp's children. Alma has Doc Cochran perform an abortion after her health takes a serious downturn and she and others decide it's best for all concerned.

Hostetler and Samuel "The Nigger General" Fields return to the camp to find that Steve has taken over the livery. Bullock mediates between them, eventually getting Hostetler to agree to sell the Livery to Steve. Steve's ranting, racial slurs and impugning of Hostetler's honor finally drive the latter over the edge and he shoots himself.

Another miner is killed. Already angry from the Hostetler/Steve ordeal, Bullock arrests Hearst, drags him by the ear through the public thoroughfare and puts him in jail overnight.

Alma is once again using dope. Leon confesses to Cy that he is Alma's supplier. Cy relays this news to Hearst but Hearst is still angry from his encounter with Bullock and believes that if Tolliver had told him this useful news beforehand he might not have provoked the sheriff. A furious Tolliver tells Leon to do nothing, but Leon, afraid of being implicated in Alma's murder, has already cut her off. Suspecting that Alma's return to drugs is due to her unhappiness at being married to a man she doesn't love, Ellsworth moves out of their house. They later agree to separate and Alma is able to stop taking the laudanum.

Hearst brings a large force of Pinkertons to the camp and encourages them to stir up trouble. Swearengen holds a meeting to decide what to do about Hearst. The town leaders are unable to decide on any direct action, other than to publish a letter from Bullock to the wife of one of the murdered miners that subtly highlights Hearst's callousness. Hearst has Merrick beaten for publishing it.

Alma is shot at in the street. Swearengen takes her into the Gem and orders Dan to kidnap and restrain Ellsworth. Al guesses, correctly, that Hearst ordered the shooting, in an attempt to provoke then kill Ellsworth when he comes to Alma's aid. Hearst sends his second, the same man that beat Merrick and possibly also shot at Alma, to negotiate with Swearengen; Al kills him after extracting information. The town unites to protect Alma as she returns to work at the bank. Hearst has Ellsworth assassinated in his tent at Alma's mine. Trixie shoots Hearst in revenge for Ellsworth's death but fails to kill him. Fearing for her and Sofia's lives and unwilling to make the camp responsible for her protection, Alma sells her claim to Hearst to avoid further bloodshed.

Bullock receives discouraging news about the county election returns in his race for sheriff against Harry Manning, all the while knowing Hearst may have manipulated the results using Federal soldiers brought in to vote for his handpicked candidate elsewhere in the county.

Hearst demands that the whore who shot him be executed. Swearengen and Wu gather a militia in case a war breaks out. Al murders the prostitute Jen, despite Johnny's objections, in the hope of passing her corpse off as Trixie and placating Hearst. The ruse works and Hearst leaves Deadwood, giving over control of "all his other-than-mining interests" to Tolliver. Tolliver points a gun at Hearst from his balcony and wants to shoot him but instead watches as Bullock sees a smirking Hearst out of the camp. Enraged that Hearst is cutting him off, Tolliver takes his frustrations out on Leon by stabbing him in the femoral artery. Johnny and Al speak briefly of Jen's death, before Al returns to scrubbing her bloodstain.

Use of profanity

From its debut, Deadwood drew attention for its extensive profanity. It is a deliberate anachronism on the part of the creator with a twofold intent. Milch explained in several interviews that the characters were originally intended to use period slang and swear words. Such words, however, were based heavily on the time's deep religious roots and tended to be more blasphemous than scatological. Instead of being shockingly crude (in keeping with the tone of a frontier mining camp), the results sounded downright comical. As Geoffrey Nunberg put it "… if you put words like 'goldarn' into the mouths of the characters on 'Deadwood', they'd all wind up sounding like Yosemite Sam."[8]

Instead, it was decided that the show would use current profanity in order for the words to have the same impact on modern audiences as the blasphemous ones did back in the 1870s. In early episodes, the character of Mr. Wu excessively uses "cocksucker," his favorite derogatory term for those whom he dislikes. Wu is also fond of the Cantonese derogatory term "gweilo" which he applies to the camp's white males.

The other intent in regard to the frequency of the swearing was to signal to the audience the lawlessness of the camp in much the same way that the original inhabitants used it to show that they were living outside the bounds of "civil society".

The issue of the authenticity of Deadwood's dialogue has even been alluded to in the show itself. Early in the second season, E.B. Farnum has fleeced Mr. Wolcott of $9,900, and Farnum tries to console the geologist:

EB: Some ancient Italian maxim fits our situation, whose particulars escape me.
Wolcott: Is the gist that I'm shit outta luck?
EB: Did they speak that way then?

The word "fuck" is said 43 times in the first hour of the show.[9] It has been reported that the series had a total count of 2,980 "fucks" and an average of 1.56 utterances of "fuck" per minute of footage.[10]

Critical reception

Deadwood received almost universal praise from critics over the course of its three-year run. On Metacritic, the first season had an 80 out of 100 score sampled from 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[2] The second and third season had near universal acclaim,[11][12] with only one mixed review of the third season coming from Newsday's Verne Gay. The praise generally centered on the strength of the writing and Milch's unique style of dialogue. Time Out New York 's Andrew Johnston listed Deadwood in his top ten TV shows for both 2005 and 2006, commenting: "If history is written by the victors, Deadwood is all about giving the losers their due. In the first season, magnificent bastard Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) came off as a villain; this year, his inevitably doomed campaign to save the lawless town from annexation by the United States and exploitation by robber barons served as a brilliant allegory for the evolution of American capitalism."[13] The strength and depth of the casting was cited repeatedly by critics and further substantiated by numerous nominations for best casting in a dramatic series. In an interview in 2012 with Adweek, film critic Matt Zoller Seitz considers Deadwood to be "the greatest TV show ever."[14]


Awards and accolades for Deadwood
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2004 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series David Milch (for "Deadwood") Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Robin Weigert (for "Deep Water" and "No Other Sons or Daughters") Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Brad Dourif (for "Deep Water" and "No Other Sons or Daughters") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Walter Hill (for "Deadwood") Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series "Deadwood" Won
Outstanding Makeup for a Series (non-prosthetic) "Here Was a Man" Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music David Schwartz Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series "Plague" Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Series "Mister Wu" Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series "Deep Water"/"The Trial of Jack McCall"/"Bullock Returns to the Camp" Nominated
Peabody Awards Area of Excellence Deadwood Won[15]
TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Ian McShane Won
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated
2005 Individual Achievement in Drama Ian McShane Nominated
Program of the Year Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actor in a Television Drama Series Ian McShane Won
Best Drama Series Nominated
DGA Award Outstanding Directing – Drama Series Walter Hill (for "Deadwood") Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Ian McShane (for "The Whores Can Come") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Gregg Fienberg (for "Complications") Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series "A Lie Agreed Upon" Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series "A Lie Agreed Upon" Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Series (non-prosthetic) "A Lie Agreed Upon" Won
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series "Boy-the-Earth-Talks-to" Won
Outstanding Costumes for a Series "Boy-the-Earth-Talks-to" Won
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series "Complications" Won
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series "Requiem for a Gleet"/"Complications"/"Childish Things" Won
2006 AFI Awards AFI TV Award Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Ian McShane Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Best Dramatic Series Nominated
2007 AFI TV Award Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series "A Two-Headed Beast" Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Series (non-prosthetic) "I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For" Won
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series "A Constant Throb" Nominated
Outstanding Costume for a Series "Amateur Night" Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series "The Catbird Seat" Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series "Tell Your God to Ready for Blood"/"True Colors"/"Amateur Night" Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Best Dramatic Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated


On May 13, 2006, HBO confirmed it had opted not to pick up the options of the actors, which were set to expire on June 11, 2006. This meant that a fourth season with the current cast as it stood was unlikely, though HBO had stressed that the show was not cancelled and talks regarding its future were continuing. The chances of the show returning with its current lineup of cast and crew were limited.

On June 5, 2006, HBO and creator David Milch agreed to make two two-hour television films in place of a fourth season, after Milch declined a short-order of 6 episodes. This was because in the show's original format, each season portrayed two weeks in the life of Deadwood, with each episode representing one day. The final two-hour format would release these time restraints and allow for a broader narrative to finish off the series.[16]

In an interview on January 13, 2007, David Milch stated that he still intended to finish the two films, if possible.[17] On July 12, 2007, HBO executives admitted that producing the telefilms would be difficult and put the chances of their ever being made at "50–50".[18]

Actor Ian McShane claimed in an interview on October 1, 2007, that the show's sets were due to be dismantled and that the movies would not be made;[19] however he was referring to the show-related set pieces, i.e., front added to the buildings, props, etc., the set as itself, "Melody Ranch", being unchanged at least as of 2010.[20] Actors Jim Beaver and W. Earl Brown commented a day later that they considered the series to be over.[21]

In the March 17, 2009, episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, McShane repeated that "Deadwood is dead".[22]

In a January 14, 2011, interview in Esquire, Milch said "I don't know that the last word has been said on the subject ... I still nourish the hope that we're going to get to do a little more work in that area."[6]

In a March 21, 2012, interview, Milch was asked if the movies would ever be produced and replied, "No, I don’t think so. We got really close about a year ago. Never say never, but it doesn’t look that way."[23]

On August 12, 2015, it was reported that talks between HBO and Milch have resumed regarding a Deadwood film.[24]

Home video releases

All three seasons are available on DVD and Blu-ray. HBO was responsible for the North American releases, while Paramount Home Entertainment handled international distribution—the latter being a byproduct of CBS Studios International (the successor-in-interest to the television unit of Paramount Pictures) handling worldwide TV distribution for the series (as Paramount Television co-produced the series with HBO). Season 3 was released on June 12, 2007. Deadwood: The Complete Series was released on December 9, 2008. This DVD set includes a special bonus disc with new features, most prominently a focus on what would have occurred in the fourth season. The Blu-ray contains the same extras as found on the DVD set.


Opening credits

The Deadwood title music is a piece by David Schwartz.

Closing credits

The closing credits music is listed below:

Season 1

  1. "Hog of the Forsaken" – Michael Hurley
  2. "Creek Lullaby" – Margaret
  3. "Twisted Little Man" – Michael J. Sheehy
  4. "Fallen From Grace" – Mark Lee Scott
  5. "God and Man" – Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry
  6. "High Fever Blues" – Bukka White
  7. "Old Friend" – Lyle Lovett
  8. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" – June Carter Cash
  9. "Stars and Stripes Forever" – Jelly Roll Morton
  10. "Hog of the Forsaken" – Michael Hurley
  11. "Snake Baked a Ho'cake" – Mike, Peggy, Barbara, and Penny Seeger and their children
  12. "Farther Along" – Mississippi John Hurt

Season 2

  1. "Not Dark Yet" – Bob Dylan
  2. "Business You're Doin'" – Lightnin' Hopkins
  3. "Skin and Bones" – Ann Rabson
  4. "The Fox" – Bill Staines
  5. "Life Is Like That" – Big Bill Broonzy
  6. "Pretty Polly" – Hilarie Burhans
  7. "A Prayer" – Madeleine Peyroux
  8. "Rattlesnake" – "Spider" John Koerner
  9. "Mama's Gonna Buy" – Vera Ward Hall
  10. "Calling All Angels" – Jane Siberry & k.d. lang
  11. "Hey Willy Boy" – Townes Van Zandt
  12. "Stay a Little Longer" – Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

Season 3

  1. "I Got a Razor" – Willie Dixon
  2. "Hole in the Wall" – Brownie McGhee
  3. "Walking the Dog" – Hans Theessink
  4. "Mean Mama Blues" – Ramblin' Jack Elliott
  5. "I'm Going Home" – Bama Stuart
  6. "Daniel in the Lion's Den" – Bessie Jones
  7. "Soul of a Man" – Irma Thomas
  8. "O Death" – Alan Lomax, Bessie Jones
  9. "Did You Ever Meet Gary Owen, Uncle Joe?" (see Garryowen) – Béla Fleck and Tony Trischka
  10. "Dangerous Mood" – Keb' Mo'
  11. "Mad Mama Blues" – Josie Miles
  12. "O Mary Don't You Weep" – Bruce Springsteen


  1. ^ Singer, Mark (February 14, 2005). "The Misfit".  
  2. ^ a b "Deadwood - Season 1 Reviews".  
  3. ^ Roush, Matt (June 3, 2013). "Cancelled Too Soon". TV Guide. pp. 20 and 21
  4. ^ Ryan, Maureen (April 18, 2007). Deadwood's return 'most likely' delayed until 2008"'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Oldham, Stuart (August 12, 2015). "HBO Confirms Early Talks of ‘Deadwood’ Movie". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Sancton, Julian (January 14, 2011). "David Milch Does Not Believe in Genres". Esquire. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Taylor Rick, Lynn (January 10, 2013). Dean' of Black Hills history dies"'".  
  8. ^ Nunberg, Geoffrey. "Obscenity Rap". Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  9. ^ Swanson, Carl (April 12, 2004). "Cussing and Fighting".  
  10. ^ Kay, Jeff. "The Number of Fucks In Deadwood". West Virginia Surf Report. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Deadwood: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Deadwood: Season 3". Metacritic. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ Johnston, Andrew (December 29, 2005). "The best and worst in TV 2005". Time Out New York. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ Six Questions: Matt Zoller Seitz. YouTube. March 1, 2012. Event occurs at 0:36. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Deadwood (HBO)". The Peabody Awards. May 2005. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Deadwood' to return"'". Archived from the original on November 13, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  17. ^ Porter, Rick (January 13, 2007). "Milch: 'Deadwood' Movies Still Alive". Zap2it. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Deadwood: Are the Two Wrap-up Movies Dead?". TV Series Finale. July 13, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  19. ^ Stewart, Ryan (September 30, 2007). "EXCLUSIVE: Ian McShane Tells Cinematical HBO Has Scrapped Those 'Deadwood' Movies". Moviefone. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  20. ^ "The Town". Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  21. ^ "'Deadwood' regulars react to series' reported demise; Brown: 'I guess the horse is dead'". The Journal News. October 1, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Ian McShane – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 03/17/2009". Comedy Central. March 17, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  23. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (March 21, 2012). "The Vulture Transcript: Michael Mann and David Milch Open Up About the Cancellation of Luck". Vulture. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  24. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 12, 2015). Wrap-Up Movie: It's Finally (Maybe) Happening"Deadwood". TVLine. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 

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