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Sunday 13 November 2016

THE WIRE (2002–2008)

TRIVIA: The character of "Bubbles", played by Andre Royo, was largely based on a real Baltimore drug addict and police informant who went by that name. The real Bubbles, who would slur his speech much more than the fictional character, first started working with the cops near the early 1960's after being arrested for a burglary. He spent the next few decades as an informant, leading to the arrest of several hundred felons and getting paid at least $50 for each one caught. His photographic memory and ability to blend into the scene made him one of the best in the city. Eventually he would start using the hat method portrayed on the series, where he acted as if he was selling hats and would place one of a certain color on the head of those the police should arrest.

According to Michael Kenneth Williams, he secretly struggled with a cocaine addiction during the third season. He never missed a day of work nor was he ever late. He also suffered with an identity crisis due to his popularity as Omar.

Clark Johnson , who plays newspaper editor Gus directed both the pilot and the last episode of the show.

The writers/producers briefly considered doing a sixth season about the influx of Latinos into Baltimore, but none of them knew enough about Baltimore's Latino population to write about it so the idea was dropped.

Stephen King called Snoop "perhaps the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series".

Michael Kenneth Williams got the role of Omar after one audition.

Entertainment Weekly included Omar Little in its list of the "16 Ultimate TV Antiheroes" at position #3 in the July 15, 2012 issue.

When Dominic West first auditioned on videotape from his London home, he tried to have his girlfriend read the lines for the other characters in the scene, but her English accent kept throwing him off and he kept laughing. So West performed the scene himself by leaving pauses where the other character's lines were supposed to be. West admits to imitating Robert De Niro for his audition. At first, the producers found the audition tape "weird" and "comic" but they reconsidered when they concentrated on West's performance. When West was offered the role, he became reluctant because the contract was for five seasons. But his agent convinced him that the show would not last more than one. It ended up lasting five seasons.

Tom Waits - composer of the show's title theme, 'Way Down In The Hole' - agreed that The Wire's producers could make use of the song provided they first let him see the show. Videotapes were promptly dispatched to the Waits household, followed by weeks of agonising silence. When the execs finally got the courage to give the legendary singer-songwriter a call, Mr Waits explained that he'd received the cassettes but he couldn't play them because he didn't know how to operate his VCR. "My wife knows how to use it and she'll be back in a couple of days," Waits continued. Two days later, a release was signed.

Senator Clay Davis' catchprase "Sheeeeee-it" didn't appear in the script. It was added by Isiah Whitlock Jr..

The scars on both Michael Kenneth Williams and Jamie Hector's faces are real.

Due to the fact they hadn't appeared in anything significant until The Wire, and their American accents were so perfect in the show, many people were unaware that Idris Elba and Dominic West were actually British.

This is Barack Obama's favourite show and his favourite character is Omar. He said, "That's not an endorsement. He's not my favourite person, but he's a fascinating character."

Prez's experiences as a teacher are based on those of Ed Burns, who became a Baltimore middle school teacher when he retired from the Police.

In season one, two detectives, Augustus Polk and Patrick Mahon - were assigned to the Barksdale detail. The names "Polk" and "Mahon" are a play on "pogue mahone," the anglicized version of an Irish expression meaning "kiss my ass." "Pogue Mahone" was also the original name of Irish folk-punk band The Pogues, whose music is used throughout the series.

The producers wanted to keep a documentary-type atmosphere. Therefore, aside from the ending montage at the end of each season and a few exceptions, no musical score is used in the series. The music had to be coming from a stereo, boombox, etc. i.e. it had to be literally part of the scene.

Ranked #8 on Empire magazine's 50 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time (2008).

Felicia Pearson was discovered by Michael Kenneth Williams at a Baltimore club. He invited her to come to the set one day and he introduced her to the writers and the producers, and after subsequent auditions, she was offered a role in the series.

In preparation for the role of Bodie, J.D. Williams walked around Baltimore's inner city during the middle of the night a few days before the first taping; talking about this to AllHipHop, Williams stated "it was like 12 or 1:00 in the morning. I just threw on a black hoodie and walked around. I went to one of their hoods and watched that night. I learned not to do that no more, I was lucky I made it back that night."

Wood Harris (Avon) and Michael B. Jordan (Wallace) would later co-star in Creed (2015).

By the end of shooting for season 1, the producers realized that shooting for subsequent seasons should take place mostly on the eastern side of Baltimore because of the lack of trees. Without as many trees in the frame, the passing of the seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer) during a running season of the show wouldn't interfere with the continuity of the story.

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