The final season of The Sopranos (i.e., eight episodes) has been bumped from January to early March ’07 because of a knee operation that James Gandolfini will have sometime soon. The surgery alone would delayed the season only three or four weeks “but that would have put The Sopranos up against the football playoffs and the Super Bowl,” according to HBO honcho Chris Albrecht . The knee procedure is necessary because Gandolfini was recently knocked off his scooter in Manhattan collision with a taxi.
(This happened to me in Paris in the summer of ’03. I was on the back of a scooter that Jett was driving, and as we approached the Place Bastille Jett slammed on the brakes too hard and the bike hit the pavement with me on it. I was bruised pretty badly and gimping around for two or three weeks after that, but I eventually healed. If I’d gone to a local hospital with ample medical insurance on the day of the accident I would have been relentlessly subjected to the benefits of modern medicine at a cost of many thousands of Euros.)
“I know you’re all hoping that [more than one or two Sopranos characters will] die,” Albrecht told the Television Critics Association in Pasadena on Wednesday, but he gave assurances that viewers won’t be disappointed in this regard. “I know the story lines for the final eight, and I am absolutely positively certain that when the curtain comes down on [the final Sopranos], the vast, vast, vast majority of people will say it’s one of the great things of all time.” (Shouldn’t he have said “greatest,” as in “one of the greatest things of all time”?)