Treme Overcomes Tragedy, On-Screen and Off

n its own way, the sudden death of Treme co-executive producer David Mills just days before the series premiere is a potent metaphor for the show itself.

As the HBO drama's cast and crew mourn Mills' loss, they also celebrate him by continuing to work long days to wrap production on the first season of the show, which follows New Orleans residents as they attempt to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods wrecked the city.

"Even in the wreckage of the flood, it only took a few months for the first second-line parade to be formed," co-creator and executive producer Eric Overmyer tells "If you canceled Mardi Gras, it was giving up on the city. It wasn't a question of having a party and being oblivious in the wreckage and the pain. It was a question of celebrating life in spite of all the adversity. That's why we've thought about it a lot with the death of David Mills. That's one of the things the show's about."

Overmyer created the show with David Simon, with whom Overmyer previously worked on Homicide and Simon's magnum opus, The Wire, perhaps the most critically lauded show in decades. Devotees of Simon are burning with anticipation. But this is not The Wire: New Orleans.

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