Does Everything “Treme” Need Explication?

So it seems. Earlier in the week, The Times-Picayune‘s Dave Walker reported that the producers had worked out storylines for the characters that would ideally take four seasons to bring to their natural conclusions. That piece of information has circulated the web as an assertion that there will be two more seasons of Treme.

Today, producer David Simon clarified the point to Alan Sepinwall:

“It seems to be out there that i said we would be doing four seasons,” Simon wrote back. “I didn’t say that exactly. I told Dave Walker that the writer-producers met twice over the hiatus for a week at a time and plotted all the storylines and determined that two more seasons was the optimum for the vast majority of characters, for the theme, and practical for the history of post-Katrina New Orleans. That we would have a hard time finishing in three, or, unless some other avenues for storytelling revealed themselves organically, extending the drama to five seasons.”

At the same time, he recognizes that it’s entirely up to HBO bosses Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler to decide whether they want a fourth season, and that “HBO has made no decision and I don’t expect a decision until we meet with them — at the earliest.”

To be fair, at the end of last season, Plepler said:

“It really wasn’t, frankly, even a decision for us. He wasn’t done telling the story, and we have such respect for him and regard for him, we want him to feel he’s expressed what he wants to express.”

Those who put two and two together had good reason to take the news as a de facto declaration that Treme would be around for two more seasons, but Simon’s guardedness is understandable. Network executives have changed their mind in the past and they could do so again. What we do know is that a fifth season is unlikely.

–Alex Rawls