AMC Orders 'Making of the Mob' Docudrama

The Godfather
Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

The Godfather came into this world, in the form of Mario Puzo's novel, as pulp. In a feat of creative alchemy arguably unsurpassed before or since, Coppola and his collaborators turned the Mafia melodrama into popular art that satisfies on every possible level -- as a family drama, a crime saga, a visual and musical ravishment and an impeccable evocation of a historical period.

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AMC is shining its light on the mob.

The network has ordered an eight-part docudrama, Making of the Mob: New York, that centers on the original five families that led to the modern American Mafia. The project hails from Stephen David's eponymous production company, which was behind History's The Men Who Built America, and will bow with hourlong episodes in the second quarter of 2015.

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The series, which will blend dramatic scenes with interviews, archival footage and VFX, will span over 50 years, beginning in 1905. It traces the rise of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, along with other notorious gangsters from their beginnings as neighborhood gang members to murderous entrepreneurs and bootleggers.

"We have a long tradition of airing many of the greatest movies about organized crime and have wanted to pair those movies with a piece of original programming for some time,”said AMC's executive vp programming Joel Stillerman. “Stephen David brought us a show that reminded us what an absolutely spectacular story the truth is with respect to the rise of organized crime in America and the formation of the legendary Five Families. Making of the Mob: New York features fantastic, larger-than-life characters and drama that is better than fiction in every way. This is definitely event television."

Added David: “I’m fascinated by people and relaying history through the personal stories of what they really did. While there have been a number of great films, television shows and books about the mob in America, the entire story has never been put together like this, and I think viewers will be surprised at the very human story of how these men created their own success and made America their land of opportunity.”

To bolster its potential, AMC will employ Mob as a lead-in for the network's library of mob flicks, including The Godfather, Goodfellas, American Gangster, Donnie Brasco and Scarface. The docudrama will feature interviews with historians, authors, actors, law enforcement personnel and family members, including actors Joe Mantegna and Drea de Matteo, mob attorney and former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman and Meyer Lansky’s grandson, among others.