The Cultural Dominance Of The Sopranos

Ever since the highly controversial end of The Sopranos in June 2007, the cast and crew came upon a realization. The show not only changed their lives, but changed tv culture for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two decades since the world was introduced to Tony Soprano and HBO.

James Gandolfini was the first character we all loved to hate, and that began the trend of anti-heroes that we continue to root for today. The show was a pioneering event that emerged at a time when watching TV was about to evolve.

HBO Needed A Way To Lure More Viewership

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With video rentals more popular than ever before, HBO needed a way to attract viewers with something unique. It had to be worth paying for and the only way to do that was with a show that gave the network something we’ve never seen before.

Essentially, HBO needed a series that was like a movie, full of R-rated elements like swearing, violence, and nudity. The Sopranos universe provided that, and if they were on another network, they’d have been held to FCC standards.