”The Sopranos” creator David Chase and his cast have often held to the code of omerta when asked to discuss details of upcoming episodes of the Mob hit. Still, the folks behind the HBO series, whose long-awaited fourth season begins Sept. 15, did let slip a few details on Friday before the summer TV critics’ gathering in Pasadena.
Chase said that this season will focus on a particular relationship, as past seasons had, noting that the first season focused on Tony Soprano and his mother, the second on Tony and his sister, and the third on Tony and his kids. ”This season focuses on Tony and Carmela as a couple, on their marriage,” the Associated Press quotes him as saying. Chase also said that the New Jersey-set series would acknowledge the events of Sept. 11.
Given the year-plus delay between seasons, viewer expectations are running especially high. Asked how he’s dealing with the increased pressure, Chase told the Hollywood Reporter, ”I’m a miserable s—head.”
Chase confirmed earlier reports that he would quit making ”The Sopranos” after its 2004 season, the fifth. However, he noted, HBO owns the rights and could continue producing the show without him. ”If they decide to go on, from a business standpoint, they could.”
Nonetheless, star James Gandolfini said it would be unlikely that he would continue for a sixth season if Chase bowed out. ”I started with him. I’d like to finish with him,” Gandolfini said via satellite from New York. ”Aye, aye. Same for me,” said costar Lorraine Bracco, in Pasadena.
Asked how the series should wrap up, costar Michael Imperioli told the Reporter, ”Whoever’s alive, they get on the mother ship that takes us to a far off planet somewhere in another universe.” Gandolfini agreed, suggesting a title: ”The Sopranos in Space.” Bracco suggested that her TV shrink, Dr. Melfi, and Tony’s entire family should meet up with another foulmouthed, dysfunctional-but-loving TV clan. ”I think we should all go to Ozzy Osbourne’s and have dinner,” she said.