Color us shocked.
Not so much that The Sopranos will stick around for a sixth season despite creator David Chase's heretofore constant protestations to the contrary. (Half of us once had a big fight with an editor who wouldn't let us suggest in a profile that when HBO dangled a big wad of one-more-season money Chase would suddenly find more mobbie stories to tell.)
What truly surprises us is this: The next season will end in May 2006 and the final one will start a mere eight months later, in January 2007. The Times says that the short break was "crucial" to Chase, according to HBO chairman Chris Albrecht.
Of course, it was also clearly relative, as eight months is at least twice as long as any other show on TV takes between seasons. (We know: It's not TV, yada yada.)