NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 21: David Simon attends HBO's "We Own This City" New York Premiere at Times Center on April 21, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Why The Wire Had to End After Season 5
Created by David Simon and pitched ostensibly as a "cop show" about wiretapping, the Baltimore-based HBO crime drama, “The Wire,” was a forerunner for what we now call "prestige tv" — the sort of thoughtful literary storytelling that requires viewers to put their phones down and pay attention to a cumulative, carefully constructed narrative.
Though the series came to an end on March 9, 2008, after telling its story over 60 episodes and five sprawling seasons, strong attention to detail was meticulously planned in the writers' room from the jump. Yet, HBO executives like Chris Albrecht would hesitate to renew successive seasons of the series that observe the failed War on Drugs with a cumulative effect.
By season 5, detractors of "The Wire" had come around to its multifaceted storytelling as part of the show's comprehensive experience and there was little left to say. "The big thematic heavy lifting was done in Seasons 1 and 2, when Ed and I were figuring out what we wanted to do: how many seasons, etc. We came up with five,” said Simon.