Everybody loves a good puzzle.

Capitalizing on the success of projects like the best-selling novel “The Da Vinci Code” and the blockbuster film “National Treasure,” NBC is moving forward “Treasure Hunters,” joining forces with Imagine Television and Madison Road Entertainment.

In “Treasure Hunters,” teams of competitors will solve complicated puzzles using knowledge of folklore, fantasy and actual history. Brian Grazer and David Nevins (“24,” “Arrested Development”) will executive produce for Imagine, with Tom Mazza, Danica Krislovich and Jak Severson doing the honors for Madison Road Entertainment.

HBO series ‘Wire’ set for fourth season

After much speculation about its future, the critically adored but little-watched HBO series “The Wire” will return for a fourth season.

HBO announced Thursday that the show, a novelistic take on crime and inner-city life in Baltimore, will resume production late this year. The season will premiere sometime in 2006.

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“‘The Wire’ just keeps getting better, so we’re delighted that David Simon and his team will be returning for another provocative season,” says Carolyn Strauss, president of HBO Entertainment. “We share the critics’ enthusiasm for this unique and challenging series, and eagerly await the new episodes.”

Although it’s ostensibly a cop show, “The Wire” also digs deeper into issues like poverty, race, class and the war on drugs. Seasons one and three revolved primarily around a Baltimore police investigation into a drug ring led by Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris) and Stringer Bell (Idris Elba). The second season also touched on the Barksdale case while focusing on a declining longshoreman’s union and the lengths some members went to in order to keep it viable.

With the Barksdale story more or less wrapped up, creator David Simon says the fourth season will focus on the educational system and its role in the show’s West Baltimore.

Although the series earns widespread praise from critics, it has never found a very large audience; its most recent season averaged under 2 million viewers per week. The third-season finale, which appeared to wrap up several plot threads, also led to speculation that HBO would not renew it.


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