Top 10 Mob And Gangster Television Shows
Since the earliest days of television, the world of the crime boss has been highlighted in both a positive and negative spotlight. The gangsters of the underground crime syndicates have rivaled that of the movies, with their “Good Fellas” and “Godfathers.” In our opinion, here are the top 10 mob and gangster television shows.
10. Wiseguy (1987-1990)
CBS and Stephen J. Cannell had an incredible hit on their hands when Wiseguy premiered. An undercover FBI operative from their Organized Crime Bureau covered everything from illegal arms dealers to protection rackets. The series starred Jonathan Banks, Jim Byrnes and Ken Wahl, but also had recurring roles for Kevin Spacey, Gelnn Frey, Tim Curry and even Jerry Lewis.
9. Crime Story (1986-1988)
This gritty NBC series was a 1960s Chicago series that followed Lt. Michael Torello in his battle against criminal mastermind Ray Luca. The series showed that everyone had a price and loyalty didn’t exist in the world of crime. Chuck Adamson and Gustave Reininger series starred Dennis Farina, Bill Smitrovich and Steve Ryan.
8. Peaky Blinders (2013- )
At nearly the same time the crime bosses were dividing territory in the United States, Tommy Shelby was running his Birmingham, England based gangster family. Created by Steven Knight and starring Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson and Joe Cole, Peaky Blinders is a violent epic series that pulls no punches.
7. Narcos (2015- )
There are true stories that are often hard to watch. This falls into that category. The story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s rise to power and battles against DEA agents and other drug lords, this Netflix series isn’t exactly an easy one to ‘binge-watch,’ due to the graphic violent nature. The show was created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro and stars Pedro Pascal, Wagner Moura and Boyd Holbrook.
6. The Shield (2002-2008)
From the perspective of Los Angeles police, not everything is as it seems. There are dirty cops, crime syndicates and a thin line between the good and the bad. Created by Shawn Ryan, the dramatic FX crime series The Shield stars Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent and Walton Goggins.
5. Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014)
Not your typical gangster, the Sons of Anarchy control towns on two wheels. Proving blood is not always thicker, some of the most violent, sickening scenes in television take place between a modern day western and the criminal underworld. Created by Kurt Sutter, the series starred Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Mark Boone, Jr. and Tommy Flanagan.
4. The Wire (2002-2008)
The Baltimore drug scene is an ongoing mess. The heavy handed corruption of the government, the blackmail and deception, all while homicidal maniacs and narcotics rule the streets. One of the most violent, real looks at the crime scene, The Wire was created by David Simon and stars Dominic West, Lance Reddick and Sonja Sohn.
3. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
Steve Buscemi’s smooth, even-handed, cool thinking Nucky Thompson was one of the greatest criminal minds on television. Nucky’s family grew, suffered, bled and died in the Prohibition era of the 1920s in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The tale crossed over into other territories, as deals were made and broken with Lucky Luciano, Al Capone and others. A brilliant series co-starring Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham and Stephen Graham.
2. The Untouchables (1959-1963)
Another of the prohibition era mafia series, The Untouchables focus on the law and order side of the equation, as Eliot Ness and his men work to outsmart the bad guys, while violence grips the city of Chicago. The extremely popular ABC series starred Robert Stack, Walter Winchell and Nicholas Georgiade.
The Sopranos (1999-2007)
The crime family had a lot of bosses on television, none as ruthless, with as much of an inner struggle, as Tony Soprano. The most popular and powerful of mob tales, The Sopranos cemented its role as the most iconic of mafia series. The dramatic series was an emotionally captivating and draining one to watch, starring James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco and Edie Falco, created by David Chase.