The cockteasing suits over at HBO announced today that Sopranos star James Gandolfini has had an "unexpected" knee surgery, delaying the show's production schedule and thus pushing the series finale back another two months to sometime in March 2007. It's cruel, really: viewers wait for almost two years for the most recent season, and now everyone will have to wait another nine months for the six concluding episodes. Is that any way to thank a loyal audience? The dude bounces back from a bullet in the stomach and a coma in just three episodes, but knee surgery takes a couple of months. Like they couldn't just write a limp into the story? Alas, no — and now your Sundays will remain open like a gaping wound. The disappointment just serves as an aching reminder that we are but slaves to the cruel master of premium cable.

On the other hand, if Gandolfini's bum knee has anything to do with his Vespa accident back in May, the karmic justice is soothing: serves him right for riding a fucking scooter.

Gandolfini Injured; 'Sopranos' Delayed [AP]