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


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Top Rated TV #5 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty / ... (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls / ... (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Lt. Cedric Daniels / ... (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Sgt. Ellis Carver / ... (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. Thomas 'Herc' Hauk / ... (60 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. Lester Freamon (59 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Reginald 'Bubbles' Cousins (52 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Omar Little (51 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. Roland 'Prez' Pryzbylewski / ... (50 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Acting Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell / ... (47 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Det. Leander Sydnor (45 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Sgt. Jay Landsman (45 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Preston 'Bodie' Broadus (42 episodes, 2002-2006)
 Avon Barksdale (39 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Russell 'Stringer' Bell (37 episodes, 2002-2004)
 Councilman Thomas 'Tommy' Carcetti / ... (35 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Marlo Stanfield (32 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Chris Partlow / ... (30 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Howard 'Bunny' Colvin / ... (27 episodes, 2003-2008)
 Slim Charles (27 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson (27 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Dennis 'Cutty' Wise (26 episodes, 2004-2008)
 Malik 'Poot' Carr (26 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Maurice 'Maury' Levy (25 episodes, 2002-2008)
 State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis (25 episodes, 2002-2008)
 Joseph 'Proposition Joe' Stewart (25 episodes, 2002-2008)
Michael Salconi ...
 Off. Michael 'Sanny' Santangelo / ... (25 episodes, 2002-2008)


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


Listen carefully (first season) See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

2 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Escuta  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Sonja Sohn's role in the series led to her current work as the leader of a Baltimore community initiative called ReWired for Change. The program is run out of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and uses episodes of the series as a teaching tool, encouraging the participants to examine and query their lives and past actions. Other actors and writers involved with the series serve as board members. See more »


Frequently we see the Dock/Union people in icy conditions on the streets. At a similar time the Investigating police, including McNulty working on the docks, are never in icy conditions. See more »


Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty: All those mopes in bracelets and not one of them named Osama.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In every episode, after the opening credits a quote appears on the screen that will be spoken by a character in that episode. See more »


Referenced in Zoe Ever After: Pilot (2016) See more »


Way Down in the Hole
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by the Neville Brothers
(season 3)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best thing on TV today
15 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Possibly the best thing written for television ever; certainly the best to come out in the last 25 or so years.

"The Wire" escapes the melodramatic pitfalls of shows like "the West Wing," "Six Feet Under" and even "The Sopranos" (which are all smartly written--or rather have had their moments of greatness).

Here is a show which over the course of 37 hours weaves together scores of very tautly detailed characters. It's not easy to watch--and its certainly challenging. But it is surely worth it.

The story unfolds in Baltimore and is a study on the effect of institutions on its members: police, politicians, criminals, addicts.

Some may find the show didactic. This is understandable because its creators make heavy usage of allegory (for instance, seasons three's not-so-subtle criticism of the situation in Iraq).

Didactic or not, the show forces its viewers to think about and hopefully start a larger discussion of the issues it touches upon: the failure of the drug war, the gradual extinction of the American worker and the dangers of a presumptive, preemptive war.

Hats off to creators David Simon and Ed Burns (a retired BPD detective) for creating one of the most interesting, daring shows in the history of television.

Let's hope HBO renews it for another 26 episodes.

297 of 411 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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