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"The Sopranos" Pilot (TV Episode 1999) Poster

(TV Series)

(1999)

Trivia

James Gandolfini's voice is distinctly different in this first episode than it would be in future ones. After this episode, Gandolfini used a dialect coach to sound more like a mobster from Newark, New Jersey.
This pilot was filmed in 1997. The show was picked up for series a year later.
In this episode, the pork store used as the mob's hangout is named Centanni's Meat Market, an actual butcher shop in Elizabeth, New Jersey. But producers soon after found an abandoned location in Kearny, NJ, converted it into the fictional Satriale's Pork Store, and used that site throughout the rest of the series. But mistakenly--or indifferently--a quick image of Satriale's, not Centanni's, is included in this pilot's opening montage, as it also would be for the next eight years of the "Sopranos".
Drea de Matteo appears as an unnamed 'hostess'. She was only intended to appear in that one scene, but David Chase liked de Matteo's performance so much he decided to expand her role. In the second episode, she suddenly appears as Christopher's girlfriend, Adriana La Cerva.
From the very first episode that features Tony Soprano's compassionate fixation with ducks to the final episode that partly deals with Paulie's superstitious fear of cats, the symbolism of pets and animals in the series is a frequent motif.
Tony is referred to here as "the boss" as well as "the Don of New Jersey". Yet in the next episode, new character Jackie Aprile is the (acting) boss and Tony is only one of many crew captains, or a capo, though he is considered the heir apparent.
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As the show's creator and executive producer David Chase is also given a writer's credit for every one of the "Sopranos"'s 86 episodes. Chase also directed two of these episodes: this original pilot and the the highly controversial series finale over eight years later.
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Tony's complaint to Dr. Melfi about the loss of the Gary Cooper "strong silent type" in American culture becomes an oft-repeated regret in the series.
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In the pilot episode, Father Phil is portrayed by Michael Santoro, but in all future episodes he is portrayed by Paul Schulze.
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This episode is titled "The Sopranos" on the DVD release and the show's official site. But it was titled "Pilot" when originally aired and is still titled as such in reruns.
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While Tony and Livia are visiting the nursing home, a group of elderly people is shown watching The Rockford Files (1974) on TV. Creator David Chase got his big break in television as a writer and producer on that show.
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The role of Uncle Junior, played by Dominic Chianese, almost went to Robert Loggia who had been seriously considered for it. Loggia would appear later in four episodes of the series as Michele "Feech" La Manna. Chianese is also the show's only cast member who had played a featured role in The Godfather: Part II (1974), as Johnny Ola.
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A scene was written in which Tony kisses Dr. Melfi but it was not filmed. A similar scene later appeared in the series' sixth episode, "Pax Soprana".
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In the pilot episode, Irina Peltsin is portrayed by Siberia Federico, but in all future episodes she is portrayed by Oksana Babiy.
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Michele DeCesare, who plays Meadow's friend Hunter, is Sopranos creator David Chase's daughter.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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