HBO’s “The Deuce” Ending Already Set

There are shows that overstay their welcome and shows cancelled before they have time to find their footing. Every now and then though, a show ends with just the right amount of episodes.

Often it’s a case of knowing to quit while you’re ahead, and according to actor James Franco his new series has been built from the start with an endgame in mind.

Speaking about HBO’s “The Deuce” with Collider, the actor and filmmaker revealed that creators David Simon and George Pelecanos basically set the whole project up as an extra-long limited series as opposed to an ongoing one. This allows for a specific structure:

“One of the interesting things about this show is that it’s a hybrid between a limited series and a regular series. There are only eight episodes a season, and if we go, which it looks like we will, there will only be three seasons. It gives it this perfectly encapsulated, very concise, economical power punch feeling to it.

From the beginning, the plan was to cover 14 years. The first season is ’71-’72, and the dawn of pornography. The second season is ’77, ’78 and ’79, or somewhere in there. And then, the third season will be ’84-’85 when everything imploded and the old 42nd Street was shut down by Mayor Koch. I think if we pull it off, it will be a really nice encapsulation of a time and a place.”

The show debuted to strong reviews with an 86/100 on Metacritic, the second best score for a new show debuting in 2017 (behind only Hulu’s Emmy-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale” at 92/100). With a second season renewal already set, it seems like we might see this through to the end.