HBO piling more ‘Deadwood’

HBO oater saddles up for fourth season

David Milch is saddling up for a fourth season of “Deadwood.”

HBO is nearing a deal with the creator-exec producer to lock up the western for another go-round, several months before the third season hits the air.

Production, in fact, is still under way on season three’s 12-episode batch, which is slated to bow in June.

Premiere had originally been scheduled for March, but was pushed back to make room for frosh dramedy “Big Love,” about a polygamist, played by Bill Paxton, and his wives. HBO execs are hoping to give “Love” a boost by pairing it with the network’s strongest lead-in: the hotly anticipated sixth season bow of “The Sopranos.”

Last fall, paybox signed Milch to a two-year production deal that called for him to continue work on “Deadwood” and develop projects for the cabler. He’s at work on a police drama based on the real-life experiences of his “NYPD Blue” collaborator Bill Clark.

Second season of “Deadwood” averaged 5.7 million viewers per episode (over multiple airings). Milch exec produces with Mark Tinker and Gregg D. Fienberg.

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