Flash! noticed recently that episode info for the upcoming season of The Sopranos had been posted on the Internet Movie Database, so we perused the cast lists in search of any, um, conspicuous absences among the usual characters.
What caught our eye, though, was the name of a character that shows up in episode four, "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh": one "Dr. Plepler."
An HBO spokesman confirms that, yes, the name of the character (played by veteran actor Ron Leibman) is series creator David Chase’s tribute to HBO Executive VP Richard Plepler.
"Richard has known David from the very start of this series," says the spokesman. "He’s actually become close to David, and I think this is just a fun, inside nod to Richard."
So does "Dr. Plepler" get whacked?
The consigliere—er, spokesman—declined to let anyone outside the HBO family know what’s in store for "Dr. Plepler."
But even if he had told us, Flash! does not wish to cross or otherwise show disrespect to the real Mr. Plepler by spilling any plot details about the show.
We wouldn’t want HBO to create a Sopranos Google Map entry for 360 Park Avenue South, which may be the last place that Flash! is seen before we mysteriously disappear.