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Is ‘Deadwood’ dead in the water?

HBO has allowed options to lapse on cast; third season may be last

It may be high noon for “Deadwood,” HBO’s gritty Western drama.

HBO has allowed options on the cast to lapse, freeing the actors of their obligations to the show. But a spokeswoman for the premium cable channel said Friday the door hasn’t been shut on the possibility of another season.

The series, about life in the infamous 19th-century mining town, returns for its third season June 11. The ensemble cast includes Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, William Sanderson and Molly Parker.

David Milch, the creator and executive producer of “Deadwood,” is focusing on another series in development for HBO. “John From Cincinnati,” its working title, is a surfer drama that Milch is creating in collaboration with author Kemm Nun (“Tijuana Straits”).

Last month, Milch told the Boston Globe that he expected his involvement with “Deadwood” to go four years and no more.

“If a series is successful, the commercial interest is in keeping it on, even after the creative interest is in ending it,” Milch told the Globe. “With ‘Deadwood,’ my intention is to end at the end of the fourth season. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s where I’m getting off the bus.”