Kingpin (2003)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 952 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 8 critic

A drug cartel leader and his family try to keep what is "rightfully" their's.


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Title: Kingpin (2003– )

Kingpin (2003– ) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Miguel Cadena (6 episodes, 2003)
 Dr. Heywood Klein (6 episodes, 2003)
 Chato Cadena (6 episodes, 2003)
 DEA Agent Delia Flores / ... (6 episodes, 2003)
 Junie Gatling (6 episodes, 2003)
Ruben Carbajal ...
 Joey Cadena (6 episodes, 2003)
 Marlene McDillon Cadena (6 episodes, 2003)
 Truck Thomas (5 episodes, 2003)
 Joaquin (5 episodes, 2003)
 Doug Duffy (4 episodes, 2003)
Eduardo Palomo ...
 Capt. Lazareno (3 episodes, 2003)
 Jorge Romo (3 episodes, 2003)
 Bobby Curtis (3 episodes, 2003)
 Shawn Bailey / ... (3 episodes, 2003)
 Ariela (2 episodes, 2003)
 Rolando (2 episodes, 2003)
 Lupita (2 episodes, 2003)
 Romulo (2 episodes, 2003)
 Rafael (2 episodes, 2003)
 The American (2 episodes, 2003)
Rudy Moreno
(2 episodes, 2003)
 Tio Beto (2 episodes, 2003)
Ismael 'East' Carlo
(2 episodes, 2003)
 Sharonda Clifford (2 episodes, 2003)
Lou Casal ...
 Mike Apitone / ... (2 episodes, 2003)
Sam Vlahos ...
 Bishop (2 episodes, 2003)
Ivet Rios ...
 Maribel (2 episodes, 2003)
 Georgous Babe / ... (2 episodes, 2003)
 Miguel's Secretary / ... (2 episodes, 2003)
Hector Montejano ...
 Hector / ... (2 episodes, 2003)


A drug cartel leader and his family try to keep what is "rightfully" their's.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rule the family. Control the empire.


See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kartellikuningas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Production designer Bernard Hides asked for an evergreen, leaf-bearing tree on one of the sets. Someone brought him a "Bottle Tree" (Brachychiton Populneus), an extremely common plant from Australia. Hides was asked if he was familiar with this variety and he replied that he had never seen a plant like it. Hides is a native of Australia and lived there most of his life. See more »


References Scarface (1983) See more »


Theme from Kingpin
by Daniel Indart
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent Series, but Where's the Rest?
7 February 2004 | by (Colorado, United States) – See all my reviews

As a fan of "The Sopranos," I was perhaps a little reluctant to watch "Kingpin," since I felt that nothing could really surpass "The Sopranos" in my affections. Nonetheless, a friend had bought me the miniseries DVD for my birthday, so with no other excuse at hand, I watched it.

And I loved it. There are only six episodes, each an hour long, but it took me only 'til about the second before I was hooked. The acting is excellent, and I'm left wondering why I haven't heard of or seen these actors before. Each character was sympathetic and interesting; even the ones you're probably "supposed" to hate, and it was difficult deciding who exactly to root for. I especially liked the relationship between Miguel and his brother, Chato -- one of trust and closeness instead of the deceit and backstabbing that's all too common in shows along the same lines.

Agent Flores and Miguel's wife, Marlene, were also both very appealing, as strong, independent female characters who have their own complexities and motivations, rather than being overshadowed by the male characters. And I can't forget the particularly comic relationship between the doctor played by Benben, and his "thug" friend, Junie. The show provided a number of unexpected and unique twists on an old theme.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the show never took off. Maybe it was too expensive to produce, maybe it didn't get enough support from NBC, or maybe (and I hope this isn't the case), it slipped because it was not a predominantly white cast; most of the characters were Hispanic/Latino. That seems a particular shame, if it is the reason "Kingpin" never succeeded, since its cast was truly talented and I would have liked to see some of those actors get a definite career boost.

Still, at least it's available to rent, and I highly recommend giving it a shot. Even if you're a hardcore "Sopranos" lover, like I am, don't let the comparison deter you! They're similar in that they're about criminal families, but they each have a very different feel and flavor, and you'll only be robbing yourself of something new to enjoy.

I just wish there were /more/ of it to enjoy!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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