The WireLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
After The Wire, some of its stars had trouble finding acting work because they weren't viewed as actors
"It was so authentic, people thought we weren't actors," says Gbenga Akinnagbe in a Los Angeles Times article on the post-Wire careers of the stars of the classic HBO series. "At industry events, people would ask, 'What are you doing here?' And I'd say, 'What do you mean?' and they'd say, 'What are you doing out of Baltimore?'" Jamie Hector, who played Marlo Stanfield, had to remind industry people that he trained at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. Still, he says, "I'd rather be pigeonholed than no holed. At least I was working." Other Wire stars found success by joining shows run by Wire fans, such as The Walking Dead and Teen Wolf, or shows by The Wire creator David Simon.
Posted Monday 4/09/18 at 1:45PM EDT
The Wire's David Simon will next tackle the Spanish Civil War
Simon and his literary team of George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane are working on A Dry Run, a six-episode miniseries about the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion who went to Spain to fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War. The proposed series doesn't have a network, and Simon is working with Spanish producer Mediapro to raise funds to pay for it.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
The Wire ended 10 years ago today
The fifth and final season finale of the acclaimed HBO series aired on March 9, 2008, finishing up its most polarizing and perhaps disappointing season. But in retrospect, was Season 5 really that bad? "The first four seasons of The Wire are still great, better than anything you’re convincing yourself to watch this week," says Darren Franich. "The fifth season of The Wire has a stranger reputation. I revisited it late last year for the first time since 2008... Its main fault is still its most obvious: A new plot thread about the decline of print journalism feels preachy like The Wire never did. The lying reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy) is, I think, the only truly irredeemable character the show ever conjured up, his villainy so telegraphed and so clearly symbolic. There are mass murderers on The Wire with more virtues than Templeton. (McCarthy was clearly so disturbed by the role that he performed elaborate print-journalist penance and directed Spotlight.) But a decade later, the fifth season of The Wire looks better, or at least more purposefully weird. Simon’s work is strenuously realist." ALSO: What would The Wire be like in Trump's America?
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
The Wire's Wood Harris to star on ABC's The Mission pilot
He'll play a cop on the proposed series about cops on the beat.
Posted Friday 2/16/18 at 2:13PM EST
John C. Reilly could've played McNulty on The Wire
David Simon revealed how Reilly was almost cast in Jonathan Abrams' new oral history book All the Pieces Matter, which GQ has an excerpt out specifically focusing on the casting of each character. "I thought John C. Reilly could be a different McNulty, certainly not the same, but I thought he could carry all of the excesses and vices of McNulty in a different way," said Simon. "I've loved his work in a lot of stuff."
Posted Tuesday 2/13/18 at 1:51PM EST
Read an oral history of The Wire's five-minute "F*ck" scene
The excerpt is from Jonathan Abrams' new book on the HBO series, All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire, which is out today.
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 2:12PM EST
HBO and David Simon prevent a Wire actor's plans to put on “The Wire: A Stage Play"
Norris Davis, who appeared on seven episodes of the HBO series, had been billing his play as a spinoff of The Wire with the two main characters named Avon Barksdale and Chris Partlow. But after talking to HBO, he has opted to change the play's title and connection to The Wire, but he plans to keep his characters' names.
Posted Friday 2/09/18 at 8:57PM EST
Reg E. Cathey dies: The Wire star won an Emmy for House of Cards
Cathey, 59, played Frank Underwood’s favorite D.C. rib cook Freddy Hayes, a role that earned him three consecutive Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actor, including a win in 2015. Cathey also famously played political operative Norman Wilson on The Wire. “Not only a fine, masterful actor -- but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set,” tweeted The Wire creator David Simon. “On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing.” House of Cards creator Beau Willimon added: "Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed."
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 11:36PM EST
Read an excerpt from The Wire’s oral history book
Jonathan Abrams’ All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire comes out Feb. 13, offering details such as the origins of Clay Davis’ “sheeeeeeeit.” ALSO: Austin’s ATX Festival will honor David Simon.
Posted Tuesday 1/16/18 at 1:35PM EST
The Wire’s David Simon plans to adapt Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America for TV
Simon confirmed plans for a six-part miniseries that he’s shopping to networks. The Plot Against America imagines a world in which famed aviator and isolationist Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and strikes a deal with Germany and Japan to keep the U.S. out of World War II.
Posted Friday 1/05/18 at 11:08PM EST
Lena Waithe’s The Chi is being compared to The Wire, but it has more in common with Shameless
The Showtime series also has a lot in common with The Wire creator David Simon's acclaimed HBO series Treme, says Matt Zoller Seitz. “Like Shameless and Treme, The Chi is “mainly concerned with the lives of working class and poor people struggling to survive day-to-day, rather than the system they’re struggling within,” says Seitz. “It’s a rare drama that bothers to remind us that even when somebody in your family dies unexpectedly, you still have to work, pay rent, and drive mom around. Yet somehow, for all the occasional horror and persistent indignity, life goes on here, every day, every minute, and The Chi appreciates that as well, often pausing to take in the beauty of an intricately painted mural on the wall of a bodega, or the way the orange sunset light glints off the side of an elevated train rounding a curve.”
- The Chi arrives more than a decade after The Wire, “and the contours of its ambition and scope are recognizable”
- The Chi quickly carves its own niche with a concept that defies simple description
- It looks like a work in progress that shows some potential, yet also some predictable storytelling
- The Chi offers a remarkably raw portrayal of its characters’ strengths and flaws
- It needs time to grow: You end up wanting to appreciate it more than you actually appreciate it
- Waithe: “This is about showing us as people. Not perfect people. But as human beings”
- “My mission is to show these young black men are not born with a gun in their hand,” says Waithe
- Waithe invites Chicagoans to critique her show: “You get first dibs”
Posted Tuesday 1/02/18 at 7:20AM EST
David Simon offered to apologize for killing Omar on The Wire in exchange for big-money political donations
The Wire creator’s New Year’s Eve stunt aimed to raise money for Democratic candidates. "Receipt for any $1000 donation gets a personal apology from me for killing Omar," Simon tweeted.
Posted Friday 12/01/17 at 5:37AM EST
Michael K. Williams says he’ll never get tired of people bringing up The Wire
“Why would I get tired of people talking about The Wire? No, no, no, no, no, it humbles me,” Williams said after being presented with the Gotham Awards’ Made in New York Award. “It was one of the proudest pieces of work that I have done. The people that I got to work with . . . the work that I am known for on that show. I will never get tired . . . (I’m) reminded of all the love and light that I was exposed to.”
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
25 comedy writers pick the most influential TV episodes
For The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr, it was an episode of The Wire that inspired his comedy. For The Good Place’s Michael Schur, a Cheers episode proved to be a revelation.
Posted Monday 11/20/17 at 11:08PM EST
The Wire alum Sonja Sohn’s Baltimore Rising HBO documentary is optimistic, not delusional
The 95-minute film, premiering Monday, takes viewers inside the Freddie Gray police brutality case, the subsequent riots and their aftermath.