Sopranosfinale_2HBO’s new programming topper Richard Plepler had a similar reaction to the end of “The Sopranos” as the rest of the country.

“I called (‘Sopranos’ exec producer) Ilene Landress and (HBO Entertainment chief) Carolyn Strauss thinking they had withheld the last fifteen seconds from me,” he told reporters at TCA. Plepler quickly added that he thought many viewers “grew more comfortable with the ending as they sat with it” — and that he was one of those viewers.

Plepler and HBO’s west coast chief Michael Lombardo said they weren’t involved in a rumored decision to cut the infamous black screen from thirty seconds to eight seconds. As for a potential movie — rumors of which have taken the form of a prequel involving Tony Soprano’s ancestors — execs suggested the talk was as fictitious as, well, Christopher Moltisanti’s “Cleaver.”

“We haven’t had that conversation with David (Chase),” Lombardo said. Plepler then piped in: “I don’t think David has had that conversation with himself.”

— Steven Zeitchik

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