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Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement.


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2008   2006   2004   2003   2002  
Top Rated TV #6 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Michael Salconi ...


Set in Baltimore, this show centers around the city's inner-city drug scene. It starts as mid-level drug dealer, D'Angelo Barksdale beats a murder rap. After a conversation with a judge, Det. James McNulty has been assigned to lead a joint homicide and narcotics team, in order to bring down drug kingpin Avon Barksdale. Avon Barksdale, accompanied by his right-hand man Stringer Bell, enforcer Wee-Bey and many lieutenants (including his own nephew, D'Angelo Barksdale), has to deal with law enforcement, informants in his own camp, and competition with a local rival, Omar, who's been robbing Barksdale's dealers and reselling the drugs. The supervisor of the investigation, Lt. Cedric Daniels, has to deal with his own problems, such as a corrupt bureaucracy, some of his detectives beating suspects, hard-headed but determined Det. McNulty, and a blackmailing deputy. The show depicts the lives of every part of the drug "food chain", from junkies to dealers, and from cops to politicians. Written by Yuri

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rules change. The game remains the same. (third season) See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

2 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Žica  »

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Sound Mix:

(seasons 3-5)| (Dolby Surround) (seasons 1-2)


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Did You Know?


David Simon's books "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" and "The Corner" (written with Ed Burns) both mention the real Dennis Wise. He is described as one of the two most infamous contract killers active in Baltimore during the late 1970s - Vernon Collins being the other. Police were frustrated by the fact that no witnesses could be found against either man. Neither Wise nor Collins would break under intense police questioning, refusing to say anything other than to request a lawyer. Dennis Wise was eventually sentenced to life in prison in 1979 for a contract killing. He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology while in prison. In 1999, Maryland Correctional officials transferred Wise to an Arizona prison in Yuma because he was allegedly leading an influential prison gang. Wise wrote a novel called The Wolf Trap while in prison. See more »


Throughout the last two seasons, Carcetti repeatedly refers to a possible gubernatorial challenge in 2008, after serving two years as Baltimore mayor. But Maryland holds gubernatorial elections in off years - 2006, 2010, etc. The new governor would have been elected the same year that Carcetti was elected mayor - 2006 - and up for re-election in four years, not two. See more »


Det. William Moreland: You seem awfully happy today.
Det. Ray Cole: I got laid last night.
Det. William Moreland: Oh yeah? Your asshole still hurt?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits of Season 1 feature visuals and clips of things that happened during the episodes of that season. Season 2 features clips from episodes of Season 1 and 2 Season 3 features clips from Season 1 through 3 Season 4 features clips from Season 1 through 4 Season 5 features clips from all 5 seasons. During these credits you never see anyone's faces. The credits also feature several listening and communication devices. See more »


Way Down in the Hole
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama
(season 1)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Television at its peak, seminal work
13 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is the TV series that everyone should watch. On the surface it shows the never-ending cat-and-mouse chase between criminals and law enforcers, but below the surface it's a depiction of how corruption eats its way into each and every institution of power and a full and complete autopsy of a capitalist society.

The Wire doesn't have a single scene that doesn't fit into the whole. It starts out by introducing the key players and the central theme. During the five seasons we follow some very realistic characters on both sides of the law, occasionally trailing off to the other side and then back again. It's never been harder to tell who the good guys are.

This show is addictive, but an acquired taste. At first the bleak setting and hyper realistic portraits might put you off, but just watch one full episode and you will find that there is no coming back. You will find that each season comments each other in a way that is unseen in television.

The Wire is a perfect series in all aspects. The writing is of course sublime as it relies heavily on real events. The characters are complete and some of them you will remember decades from now. The acting is effortless, some of the actors more or less play themselves. Cinematography has never been more realistic, we really feel like we are in there with them. Music, rarely used, sets the mood and gives a hint of how to interpret the theme.

Watch it, then watch it again, and then again. You will have to see it many times in order to get all the nuances and facets. I guarantee you will change in the process.

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