Simon Says: Four Seasons And Done For Treme

Treme, the HBO series that explores the resilience of the people, culture, and music of New Orleans in the years following Hurricane Katrina, is now likely halfway through its run.

Executive producer David Simon has told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he recently sent a memo to executives at HBO, informing them that he believed he could tell his intended story in four seasons. Season Two aired this past spring, and the third season has just begun shooting.

Simon told the paper that when Treme began, he envisioned it running four or five seasons (his previous series for HBO, The Wire, had five). He said he and the writing staff worked out potential storylines over the summer, and eventually settled on four as the ideal number. Of course, the show’s precarious ratings situation may have had something to do with that. Like The Wire before it, Treme has not really caught on with audiences, despite its critical acclaim. Some were surprised it was even renewed for a third season, so while HBO might be willing to promise Simon one more year to wrap things up (no decision has been made on that yet), asking for two more could have been a stretch.

The story of Treme began a few months after Katrina, and Season Three will apparently be set mostly in 2008. There has been speculation that the series finale might coincide with the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl in February 2010, as that game was widely seen as the culmination of the city’s comeback.