Deadwood creator David Milch has penned a statement that pretty much confirms our worst fears: TV's best acted, written, directed, costumed and photographed show will end after its upcoming third season - and before its natural conclusion. The entire statement is below. Read it and weep. "I'm touched by the passionate response of many of the fans of Deadwood and understand the disappointment they have expressed that this is to be the final season of the show. However, I presented a new project to the network,

John from Cincinnati, which they are very excited about. We worked together to try and fashion a plan that would have enabled us to produce a fourth season of Deadwood, as well as the new show. HBO, in fact, offered to commit to an additional six episodes after this season to conclude Deadwood. I felt the right decision creatively was to stop now and move forward with the new project. Deadwood has been a magnificent experience for both me and the cast and crew behind the show, and I hope that everyone who loves Deadwood will not allow their disappointment in any way to affect what we believe is a wonderful season to come." David Milch is a brilliant writer. And I'm sure he's a very nice man. But this is unforgivable - not to mention the height of selfishness. We deserved that six-episode wrap-up. Heck, we earned it. HBO was willing to do right by Deadwood fans. Too bad the same can't be said for Mr. Milch. Toss 'em in the pigpen, boys.