Surge of Sopranos Fans Whacks HBO Web Servers

The controversial series finale of HBO's "The Sopranos" caused an uproar on the network's Web site, as an unexpected surge in traffic took a hit on the network's Web servers.

The 86th and final episode of HBOs "The Sopranos" went out with a bang as the networks Web site crashed for approximately 30 minutes due to an overwhelming surge in traffic.

The ending of the show, which left many viewers both puzzled and angered, caused an unexpected surge in traffic to the shows Web site—estimated to be around 368,000 page views per second—as fans ran to the site for answers and to voice their opinion, HBO officials said.

"It is traditional that after our Sunday night shows, viewers log on to the Web site to discuss their views and opinions," said Jeff Cusson, an HBO spokesperson. "However, we did not expect to be this overwhelmed."

On the networks Web site, each show has its own bulletin boards, where users can voice their opinions on the show, characters, plots and other fan discussion items. Postings to the "The Sopranos" finale bulletin board were 10 times greater than a typical post-episode period, HBO said.

"Our shows typically have a loyal fan base, and last night proved that statement true," Cusson said.