04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
With only two and a half more weeks to go until the March 4 premiere of the third season of HBO's "The Sopranos," there now comes a bombshell: David Chase, the creator of the delectable Mafia family drama, is claiming that there will only be two more seasons, reports The New York Times. This week, at a Museum of Modern Art tribute to the show, Chase tossed out that nugget, which The Times, noting that producers often say such things in order to extract the best possible renegotiating deals with a network, followed up with an interview. "My deal goes through four seasons, and, at present, that would be my wish that the show would end," Chase told the paper. "A lot of us on the show have an aversion to the idea of a show existing past its prime." A spokesman for HBO told The Times that it was not surprised by the announcement by Chase, who also told the paper that the third season would focus primarily on Tony and Carmela's roles as parents. No word on the focus of the fourth season.