HBO’s New Orleans-set, jazz-centric drama Treme, which began its third season Sunday night, has never enjoyed anything close to the critical respect of cocreator David Simon’s previous series, The Wire. But one thing it has had in common with its Baltimore counterpart is consistently low ratings throughout its original run.
The Wire, despite some close calls, lasted five years on the network, and Treme will run for four. HBO announced over the weekend that it has okayed a fourth and final season for the show. The news was first reported by New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Dave Walker, who is known for his detailed, annotated recaps of each episode of the show, which mark where in the city each scene took place.
The final season will be “abbreviated,” although it’s unclear how many episodes it will include; Simon told Alan Sepinwall in an interview that the budget furnished by HBO will likely enable “between four and six” hours. The first season ran ten episodes, the second 11, and the third will have ten.
Treme is no Wire, of course, and Simon would likely admit himself that Treme isn’t quite as ambitious as his last show. But despite some reservations, I’ve always liked it: The music is top-notch, it’s got a pretty strong cast, and every time I watch it I’m overcome with the desire to hop on a plane straight to New Orleans, a city I’ve never visited.