Tonight is the end of an era...the final episode of The Sopranos is shown tonight at 8pm CT (my time zone), followed by the debut of David Milch's John from Cincinnati. It is weird that one of the best TV series ever ends while a new series by the man that made (and killed) Deadwood starts after it.
With the end of The Sopranos so ends HBO's heyday and there are countless articles about whether HBO is going to be able to survive with Sex and the City and The Sopranos now gone. My guess would be they will survive, but they probably won't have the same number of subscribers as before. Chances are good that calls will be made around 9pm CT to local cable companies with people ending their subscription to HBO.
That's a sad state of affairs considering HBO still does have some great ongoing shows: Entourage (short season during The Sopranos final episodes, next full season starts next Sunday), Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire and Big Love. The first of those easily takes over as HBO's centerpiece until possibly one of the new shows hits so big that it takes over. I enjoy the other 3 shows and Big Love starts its second season tomorrow, but even it paled in comparison to The Sopranos and Entourage as a "centerpiece" show. Maybe John from Cincinnati or some of the other shows coming up will hit a chord, but I don't think many subscribers are going to stay around for them. Maybe they'll come back if critics praise the shows, but who knows.
Hopefully later tonight I can give my thoughts on the final episode and what I thought of John from Cincinnati, since I will give it a chance given how good Deadwood was. Also, for those that missed out on it, the excellent show The Tudors ends its first season tonight on Showtime. It has easily gotten lost by The Sopranos and Entourage (who it is in direct competition with), but it is good nonetheless. Comcast was nice enough to have this week's finale up last Sunday on On Demand, so I've already seen the season ender and thought it was quite good.