‘Sopranos’ to sing for sixth

HBO, Chase ink for 10-episode season

The bada-bing will go on, at least for one more year: HBO has sealed a deal with “The Sopranos” creator David Chase to produce a sixth season of the hit mob drama.

Production will begin in early 2005 on a truncated, 10-episode season. It’s unclear whether that will be the series’ last, although network insiders said Chase agreed to just 10 episodes because that’s the number of stories the exec producer believes he has left to tell.

“I’m delighted that David Chase has decided to give us another chapter in the great ‘Sopranos’ saga,” HBO chairman-CEO Chris Albrecht said.

More immediately, the fifth season of “The Sopranos” will debut in March 2004 on HBO.

Until recently, the show’s upcoming 13-episode season was expected to be its last, particularly following the dramatic contract renegotiation between HBO and series star James Gandolfini this past winter.

But both sides moved past that ugly episode, and Gandolfini returned to his role as mob kingpin Tony Soprano.

HBO Original Programming, Brad Grey Television and Chase Films produce “The Sopranos.”

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