I got your production delay, right here!

The future of “The Sopranos” became even more uncertain yesterday as HBO suspended production indefinitely due to its ongoing contract fight with series star James Gandolfini.
Cast members – including Gandolfini – were scheduled to show up for work at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City on March 24.
But with Gandolfini suing HBO in a bid to win a release from his contract – and HBO countersuing for $100 million in damages – all of the show’s cast and crew are being notified this week that production has ceased until further notice.
Gandolfini is said to earn about $400,000 per episode for “The Sopranos” under his current contract.
Sources say he’s angling for a huge raise, up to $1 million per episode. That salary would be several hundred thousand more than HBO seems willing to pay him.
Letters announcing the delay were sent out yesterday by HBO informing the show’s staff of the decision.
Prep work which has been under way at Silvercup since Feb. 10 – including reconstituting the show’s interior sets, building new ones and mapping out the lighting – will be suspended at the end of the workday tomorrow, sources said.
The indefinite suspension throws the lives of 300 cast and crew members into turmoil. If the suspension drags on, some staffers will be forced to look for work elsewhere, further damaging the show if it does return.
“At least from the crew perspective, if this thing gets protracted and it gets delayed too long, everyone will scramble for different work,” said a source who works on the show.
As time goes on, some cast and crew may aim their ire at Gandolfini, whose contract battle will now have an adverse effect on their own livelihoods.
Despite that, however, the actor remains popular with some of the show’s cast and crew. As the top-billed star of “The Sopranos,” it’s doubtful the show could go on without Gandolfini in the role of Tony Soprano.
“How can you not [get annoyed], because obviously his actions brought all this on?” said one staffer. “However, he’s the kind of guy who would feel responsible for it, [so] I don’t think it’s fair for us to make him feel responsible for 300 jobs.”
Yesterday’s suspension of production was the latest salvo in the war between HBO and its biggest star.
The dueling lawsuits filed by the actor and the network accuse each other of breaching Gandolfini’s contract.
When the lawsuits, which have both been filed in Los Angeles, will be fought in court is anybody’s guess; no court date has been set.