In an age where television is dominated by reboots, re-imaginings and "event series" sequels, there is at least one acclaimed show you shouldn't expect to see back on your TV screen: HBO's The Wire.
Despite being considered by critics and legions of adoring fans (many of whom never watched the show during its actual low-rated run) to be the greatest TV drama of all time, co-creator and executive producer David Simon made it abundantly during a reunion panel at New York PaleyFest Thursday night that he has no interest in returning to the world of The Wire.
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1. Kima wasn't supposed to survive the first season. Sohn said she heard through the grapevine early on that her character, Detective Kima Greggs, wasn't long for the show. When she confronted Simon, he explained how important the death of her character, a moral center of the show, would be. Although Sohn didn't sway Simon, HBO executive Carolyn Strauss convinced Simon killing Kima would be a mistake. As such, the bullet she takes in the line of duty near the end of the first season ended up not being fatal.
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2. Everyone else wasn't so lucky. The panel featured a number of other characters who ultimately met their demise, including Gilliard's D'Angelo Barksdale and Williams' Bodie, who both were killed off well before the series' end. Williams said he had a sense of Bodie's impending fate and decided to just go with it. "J.D. took it best," Simon agreed.
3. Some of the cast members weren't sure The Wire would catch on. Pierce and Sohn said that when they watched a cut of the pilot with fellow cast member Andre Royo, they all second-guessed themselves a bit because of the show's slow pace. "It was like, 'Oh lord savior, this ain't going nowhere,"' Pierce jokedd. "I told my agents, 'Call Law & Orderand tell them I will be free in a couple months." However, Gilliard, who grew up in Baltimore and was struck by the script's authenticity, said he knew the show was something special from the first page. "I feel really bad, killing you in the second season," Simon joked after the compliment. The two men then hugged it out.
4. Omar comin'... eventually. Williams said after the first season, he moved to Baltimore and was excited to get to work on Season 2. Just one problem: Many of the characters of Season 1, including Williams' stick-up boy Omar, were used much less during Season 2 as the show explored characters working on the docks. "I got real bitter about that," Williams said. "I was the angry black man. I approached David in my ignorance, I was like, 'How come when we make the show hot, you want to give it to the white people!?'" But Williams eventually came around. Instead of being arrogant and ignorant, I became very humble and grateful to be a small part of this huge picture," he said.
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5. But some actors considered quitting. Sharing Williams' frustration were Gilliam and co-star Domenick Lombardozzi, who had a harder time accepting Carver and Herc spending most of the season doing surveillance work. When the two men approached Simon, ("I'll quit! F--- you! I don't need this show! Y'all are wasting me!" Gilliam joked)he told them to channel their frustration into what Herc and Carver must feel like being outside the action. Gilliam said although he remained uneasy, Lombardozzi was "buoyed" by that conversation. Also, Gilliam does an amazingLombardozzi impression, which you can see below.
Additionally, Pierce said he almost walked away from the show out of fear that the series was becoming part of the problem instead of shedding light on it. However, he said he reconsidered after being touched by the kids in the show's fourth season, which dealt with the education system and which Pierce said is the best representation of what's gone wrong in our society.
You can check out the full live stream of the panel below: