Hundreds of television critics and millions of Americans sat in front of black television screens at 9:00 on Sunday to follow the continuing saga of "The Sopranos."
"I think David Chase is brilliant to stay with the dark screen," Missa T. Point of the Washington Post wrote. "You sit transfixed in front of the TV, waiting to see if something will happen. Will there be more clues? Will the darkness dissipate? It is brilliant television."
"I can't stop watching," said Harrison L Sympleton of Lynchburg Virginia. "Plus, since I watch it with the television turned off, I save on my electric and cable bill."
"Soprano's" creator David Chase said: "The show is over. I did the black screen as an end to the show. If your television is off, and you see the black screen, it's not a continuation of 'The Sopranos.' For God sakes turn on the TV!"
James Gandolfini, who portrays mob boss Tony Soprano, when learning of the millions of people watching blank screens thinking they were watching his program, immediately demanded a raise from HBO.
Entertainment Weekly's television critic Red Toomutch Inntwoit credits the new season as ground breaking. "Chase is presenting the inside of Tony's soul, the darkness, the stillness, the quiet, and you sit transfixed, waiting for that burst of light, the rapid gunfire. It is simply the most transfixing hour of television ever."
E! Online's Miss Unda Standit has a different take. "Tony has died, and this is his afterlife, week after week, lying in the ground, with everything black. Just like Bobby Bacalana said." When informed that the character of Bobby Bacalana never said that everything goes black when you die Miss Standit said: "Well, I never really watched the show before, but I won't miss an episode now."
Steven Van Zandt, who plays Silvio Dante, told reporters that the show is actually a spin off, called "What's Going On In Silvio's Mind." "He's in one of those irreversible coma things you know, so he's just lying there, and you see what he's thinking." Van Zandt told HBO that if they are going to continue to show his characters brain activity at 9:00 every Sunday he wants "Gandolfini money."
David Milch, whose new show "John From Cincinnati" had it's second episode broadcast at 9:00 on Sunday on HBO expressed his frustration at the scarcity of viewers for the program stating: "Those fucking hooples sitting at home watching their cocksucking televisions without the fucking things even plugged in blows the fucking mind don't it?"
The blank screen showing of "The Sopranos" won it's time slot on Monday beating the nearest competition by 4 million viewers.
Milch said: "What do you expect from a country that voted a blank screen President for two terms?"