HBO Exec Tells 'NYT': Chase Wanted 30-Second 'Sopranos' Blackout

By: E&P Staff As the online debate over "The Sopranos" finale continues to blaze, an HBO executive threw more wood on the fire, revealing in a New York Times interview that creator David Chase actually wanted a 30-second blackout at the end, not the few seconds HBO did allow.

Quentin Schaffer, HBO's chief spokesman, said: ?David Chase wanted that black screen moment to be really long. It?s certainly plausible to see that as a reference to death.?

Since the airing last Sunday, many fans have theorized that the blackout means that Tony had just been shot by a hit man. Others have disputed this or complained about the "cop-out" close.

In the only interview he has given since Sunday, Chase told the "hometown" paper, the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., that the meaning of the ending was "all there" in the clues left in the episode, whatever that means.

But Schaffer said that Chase had dismissed two assertions made by fans on the Web, which the Times' Bill Carter describes as "the man in the jacket who enters the restaurant and sits at the counter in the last seconds is the cousin of the recently killed mob boss Phil Leotardo, and that the two young African-Americans who walk in are the same two who tried to kill Tony in Season 1."

Schafer also disputed the blog claim that Bobby Bacala had earlier told Tony that at the moment of death ?everything just goes to black.? Schaffer said that HBO?s viewing of the scene revealed Bobby?s quote to be ?You probably don?t ever hear it when it happens, right??


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