”Sopranos” fans can relax: James Gandolfini has dropped his lawsuit against HBO, and agreed to return to the series, according to the New York Times. The move, agreed to over the weekend, means that the fifth season of ”The Sopranos” will go forward as planned. Gandolfini had sued HBO to try to invalidate his contract after the network refused to offer him the salary he wanted (at least $16 million a year, according to various reports). HBO countersued for $100 million; they’ve since dropped their suit, too.
Gandolfini will now receive $11 million for the season, around what HBO was originally offering, the Times reported. Before the raise, he had been getting $5 million. The Hollywood Reporter said yesterday that show creator David Chase had begun leaning towards a sixth season for the show, but the Times report didn’t mention plans beyond the fifth outing.