HBO split the sixth and final season of its serial mafia drama The Sopranos into two halves, spaced 10 months apart: the first half (episodes 1-12) aired from mid-March through early June of 2006; a hiatus followed between episodes 12 and 13, before the series picked up again for its final nine episodes on April 8, 2007, purportedly thanks to overwhelming audience demand for an extension. As the season begins, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is plagued by problem after problem at home: though he has made peace with wife Carmela (Edie Falco), and daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is relatively well-adjusted and happy, attending college and living with fiancÃ©e Finn De Trolio (Will Janowitz), Tony's son, A.J. (Robert Iler) is a complete slacker and layabout who has just failed out of college and seems hesitant to accomplish anything of merit. Meanwhile, Tony finds himself saddled with a new captain, Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) who expresses more hesitation over "working" him than his incarcerated predecessor, Johnny Sacks (Vince Curatola). Complicating matters are two employees: Tony's soldier Eugene Pontecorvo (Robert Funaro), who attempts to buy his way out of the syndicate via an inheritance, and the homosexual captain Vito Spatafore (Joe Gannascoli) who comes out of the closet and ends up being spotted in a leather bar - then is knocked off by a member of the family, which leads to the death of a Lieutenant and sparks a tidal wave of mob violence. In another subplot, aspiring screenwriter Christopher (Michael Imperioli), Tony's cousin, devises an idea for a gangster picture which he describes as "The Godfather meets Saw," and heads off to Hollywood to pitch it to Ben Kingsley. The season cliffhanger, however, involves Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese), an elderly man suffering from extreme senility who mistakenly draws a gun and plugs Tony in the stomach, sending him into a coma - leaving consigliere Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band) to tend to family business. This, in turn, yields several sequences where Tony wanders around in a dream state, and contemplates his own mortality. The second half of the season has Christopher continuing his strenuous efforts to have his epic (which he entitled Cleaver) produced, the absence of Johnny Sack leaving an ongoing void of power in the syndicate, and Tony again coming to terms with aging and mortality, while he struggles (as ever) to balance personal and professional demands. Guest stars in the 2007 episodes include: Sydney Pollack, Tim Daly, Daniel Baldwin and Geraldo Rivera.