Television: Back In Business

NEXT MONTH THE SOPRANOS GIVES SOME BADA-BING TO A TOO-SAFE FALL TV SEASON. WE'VE GOT A SNEAK PEEK

HBO's The Sopranos has been called the best TV drama ever and the greatest work of American pop culture in 25 years. So naturally its creator, David Chase, wants to pull the plug on it next year. Why? "I'm just concerned," he says, "about this jump-the-shark thing."

"Jumping the shark," in TV parlance, refers to the moment at which a good show turns bad. The actors get bored; the plots become outrageous; next thing you know, as Chase puts it, "Paulie Walnuts"--one of the show's Mob captains--"gets abducted by aliens." There may be another warning sign: merchandising. This fall The Sopranos...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!