(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
- This article is about the HBO drama series. For the type of singer, see Soprano.
The Sopranos is an American television drama broadcast on HBO about a fictional Mafia family in Northern New Jersey. It has enjoyed five very successful seasons and is now in its sixth, which premiered on March 12, 2006. In August 2005, HBO announced it was also producing eight "bonus" episodes that would debut in January 2007. It has been confirmed by the producers that the eight episodes will be the last of the series.
Since it first aired in 1999, the show has become a cultural phenomenon, gaining wide popularity and exceptional critical acclaim for its groundbreaking approach to its view into the Mafia lifestyle, the American family, the Italian American community, the effects of violence on the human soul and the grey area between what society considers morally right and wrong. Like other HBO programs, The Sopranos is rated for mature audiences only—for the adult issues it deals with, depictions of violence, frontal nudity, and strong language.
The series stars actors James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, and Michael Imperioli. It highlights the difficulties faced by Tony Soprano (Gandolfini), Boss of the DiMeo Crime Family in suburban Essex County, New Jersey, as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads. Observers have pointed out many similarities between The Sopranos and the DeCavalcante crime family, also based in North Jersey.
The series begins with Tony Soprano collapsing after suffering an anxiety attack, which prompts him to begin therapy with Dr. Jennifer Melfi. Gradually, it is revealed that Tony's mother is manipulative and possibly psychotic; someone in his organization is talking to the FBI; his children have troubled futures; and even his own superiors are plotting his death.
Tony Soprano in an early episode.
One of the most recognizable parts of The Sopranos is the program's opening, which is accompanied by the theme song "Woke Up This Morning" by the British band, Alabama 3 (the band are known as A3 in the US for legal reasons). The show's main character, Tony Soprano, is seen emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and entering the New Jersey Turnpike. Numerous landmarks in and around Newark, NJ (many of which are now famous due to the show's success) are shown. The sequence ends with Tony pulling into the driveway of his suburban home in North Caldwell, Essex County, NJ.
Between Tony leaving the tunnel and entering the New Jersey Turnpike, an image of the World Trade Center towers can be seen in his rear view mirror. Just prior to the start of the fourth season, HBO and Sopranos creator and producer David Chase removed this shot altogether, in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 during which the towers were destroyed.
Cast and characters
- Main article: List of characters from The Sopranos
2006 promotional picture for Season 6.
See also: Tony's Dreams
One of the unique aspects of The Sopranos is the use of dream sequences. They are used in an unusual way, using heavy symbolism and foreshadowing, to convey what characters (particularly Tony) are thinking and feeling, but not saying. Some of the more famous dream sequences include Tony talking to Big Pussy as a fish and realizing his friend is an FBI informant, the 20+ minute sequence in The Test Dream, and Tony as a regular man having his identity mistaken for a man named Kevin Finnerty.
The "Kevin Finnerty" dream in Season Six appears to symbolize Tony's fear of life after death and its unknown. The name "Kevin Finnerty" is discussed in the dream as containing the word "infinity." In the dream, Tony is stuck in a city he had travelled to for business, and because of mistaken identity, he cannot travel home. This represents purgatory. When he looks out his hotel window, he sees a flashing light, which represents Heaven. He is told a red glow in the other direction is a fire, which represents Hell.
Eggs foreshadow something unfortunate will occur, generally a loss of life, loss of rationality, or both. A similar foreshadowing occurs in The Godfather film series whenever oranges appear on screen.
For example, in "Long Term Parking", Adriana offers to make Christopher eggs after admitting she has been working with the FBI. She is killed shortly after. In "Watching Too Much Television" Irina offers to make egg salad before Tony beats Zellman with a belt. In "Whoever Did This" Ralph offers to make Tony eggs for breakfast just before they fight and Tony murders him. In "Two Tonys" Carmine Lupertazzi suffers a stroke when eating egg salad; later, Uncle Junior asks Bobby to make Tony an egg, then calls Tony B. "Tony Egg" by mistake, right before the phone rings and it is announced that Carmine has died. In addition, Tony Soprano's goomah, Valentina, has her kimono catch on fire from the stove while preparing egg substitutes for Tony in "The Test Dream". Finally, Tony Soprano steps in broken eggs just before resolving to murder his cousin, Tony Blundetto in "All Due Respect".
Some more tenuous examples also exist. Richie Aprile offers to make Tony eggs when Tony finds him sleeping in Janice's house. He is shot by Janice a few episodes after that. AJ offers Carmela a poorly made poached egg in the episode "College", later Tony kills Fabian Petrullio. Also, before Mikey Palmice is killed in "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano", Carmela is seen making scrambled eggs. In "The Weight", while Junior and Tony are discussing ordering a hit on Johnny Sack they watch an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionare where the contestant has used up all his lifelines and gets an answer wrong - the answer, "eggs." In "For All Debt Public and Private", Tony and Bobby Baccalieri stop by a diner after Tony gives Chris the address of the man that murdered his father. Tony orders scrambled eggs and tomato slices. Later in the episode, Baccalieri's wife Karen makes Junior eggs after he finds out the nurse in his doctor's office was working for the FBI. She dies in a car crash later in the episode.
Types of murder
There are many references to different types of murder. The most obvious is the death of Brendan Filone when he is shot clean through the eye. This manner of killing is called the "Moe Greene Special" after the character Moe Greene from The Godfather. Moe Greene was based on a real-life gangster, Bugsy Siegel; Bugsy was shot through the eye. This style of murder has become a trend in mafia related movies and shows and Brendan Filone's death is the best representation in The Sopranos.
Nods to Goodfellas
David Chase has noted in several interviews that the Martin Scorsese gangster film Goodfellas was a source of inspiration for him, calling the 1990 movie his "Koran" .
The Sopranos opened with four starring cast members (Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico and Vincent Pastore) who had appeared in Goodfellas. Later Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo) joined the cast - he also appeared in Goodfellas. Recurring characters played by actors who also appeared in Goodfellas include Barbara Soprano Giglione (Nicole Burdette), Larry Boy Barese (Tony Darrow), Carmine Lupertazzi (Tony Lip), Frank Pellegrino (FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso), John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia (Albie Cianflone), Suzanne Sheperd (Mary De Angelis), Paul Herman (Beansie Gaeta), Marianne Leone (Joanne Moltisanti, also played by Goodfellas alumnus Nancy Cassaro in one earlier episode) and Frank Albanese (Pat Blundetto). Anthony Caso appeared in The Sopranos episode "Meadowlands" as Martin Scorcese and had a small part in Goodfellas. Actor Chuck Low appeared as Jewish character Morrie in Goodfellas and Chassidic hotel owner Mr. Teitlemann in The Sopranos. Actors who have had small roles in The Sopranos and Goodfellas include Tobin Bell, Gene Canfield, Gaetano LoGiudice, Vito Antuofermo, Frank Adonis, Anthony Alessandro and Victor Colicchio. There have been a total of 24 actors who have appeared in both productions.
There are several nods to Goodfellas in the show, including Christopher shooting a bakery store cashier in the foot, muttering "it happens." (Imperioli's character, Spider, was shot in the foot in the film.) Another character, Phil Leotardo, shot Angelo Garepe in the trunk of a car (Frank Vincent's character in Goodfellas was shot and stabbed in the trunk of a car.)
Tony in a session with Dr. Melfi
It seems borrowing from Goodfellas wasn't limited to numerous cast members. The Bamboo Lounge restaurant owner being harassed by a mobster (Joe Pesci), and then going to a boss (Paulie in Goodfellas) to try and work it out, he ends up going into business with him then busting out the joint. A similar storyline was written for Sopranos characters Tony Soprano, Richie Aprile and Davey Scatino.
Animals are often used as symbolism in the show. Most famously, ducks are used in the first season to represent Tony's family, squirrels are used in the fourth season to represent the changing times, and a black bear is used in Season Five to represent Tony himself.
Also, Tony has shown a certain fondness for animals that (as Dr. Melfi points out) he doesn't show towards people, apparently as a form of displaced affection. Tony's depression originally began when the family of ducks left his pool. The race horse Pie-O-My in Season Four brought out Tony's soft side, and the animal's death in a stable fire demanded as bloody a payback as if she had been a member of the family. And Tony showed more anger at Christopher when finding out that he had accidentally killed Adriana's dog, Cosette, than when he discovered that Chris was still using drugs. Tony also refuses to forgive his mother despite having arguably ample reason to do so, stating, "She made my dad give my dog away."
The time three o'clock seems to have some significance. The time was first mentioned in the season two episode, "From Where to Eternity" where Christopher comes out of a coma thinking he was in hell and gives a message to Tony and Paulie from Brendan Filone and Mikey Palmice: three o'clock.
Also in Season Six, Vito calls Silvio at 3 a.m. from a cheap motel room after he realizes that his sexual preference for men has been discovered by New York mob members, in hopes of determining whether the news had yet spread to the Soprano family. Later in Season Six, in "The Ride", Paulie wakes up at 3:00 to call his doctor to find out whether he has prostate cancer or not.
Many of the characters are interested in The Godfather series of movies and some of the actors who portray them also appear in the films. For example in The Godfather Part II, Dominic Chianese (Junior Soprano) plays Johnny Ola and Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) has an uncredited role as a gangster. In The Godfather, Tony Lip (Carmine Lupertazzi) and Lou Martini, Jr. (Anthony Infante) appeared as wedding guests. In The Godfather Part II, Richard Maldone (Albert Barese) had a small role as Joey.
Christopher Moltisanti is practically obsessed with the films' depictions of the Mafia. They have all watched the films so often that Paulie, for example, refers to The Godfather star Al Pacino in conversation simply as "Al," and several of the characters refer to the movies by their numbers: the first movie in the trilogy is simply referred to as "one." Tony and his compatriots sometimes discuss favorite scenes from the films: e.g. Tony's favorite is when Vito Corleone returns to Sicily. Silvio Dante in the early seasons would impersonate Al Pacino saying "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." (a quote from The Godfather Part III) He has also done impersonations of the final scene in The Godfather Part I between Michael Corleone and Kay and also "Our true enemy has yet to reveal himself." The mobsters compare themselves to the cinematic images of organized crime in The Godfather trilogy, as well as other well known films about the Mafia, such as Goodfellas. In addition, Ralph Cifaretto has a fascination with gladiator movies. Ridley Scott's Gladiator, in particular, seems to stimulate Ralph's bravado and he can be heard quoting several lines from the film during the third season.
There are also various visual homages to the Godfather trilogy. Just before Tony is shot in a failed assassination attempt in season one, he buys a bottle of orange juice, a reference to Vito Corleone buying oranges during a similar attempt on his life. In Season Five, Carmine Lupertazzi suffers a fatal stroke while eating brunch. At the table, all the glasses are filled with water, except Carmine's, which has orange juice. In addition, following the death of Livia Soprano in Season Three, there is a point-of-view shot of Tony taking an elevator to the funeral home basement. The scene is a direct homage to the scene in The Godfather where Vito calls on a favor to Bonasera following the murder of his son, Santino. In "The Test Dream" we hear Annette Bening make a reference to the line "not coming out of the toilet with only his dick in his hand," and we see Tony reach behind the cistern for a gun in the same way Michael does in The Godfather.
Notable plots and timeline
- Main article: The Sopranos timeline
- Main article: List of The Sopranos episodes
- Main article: List of The Sopranos awards and nominations
After being nominated for and losing the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2003 (losing to The Practice once and The West Wing three times), The Sopranos finally won the award in 2004, becoming the first and only cable series to win the award. The Sopranos has also won at least one Emmy Award for Acting in every season, and has dominated the writing categories, picking up 17 nominations over five seasons and winning the award four times. It is also a perennial nominee at the Golden Globes (winning the Best Drama Series in 2000) and the major guild awards (Directors, Producers, Writers, and Actors).
Depiction of brands
The Sopranos has been consistent in the frequent depiction of actual brand names for products on the program - this practice is widely regarded as product placement in the media   . HBO officially denies that it accepts product placement - paid or otherwise - and asserts that brands depicted are not a commercial decision, but a creative one made by the show's producers.  In terms of brands seen in the program, Soprano family members, for instance, typically drink Tropicana, Snapple, or Coca-Cola. Motorola and Nokia cellphones are sometimes seen. Some devices utilized include scene settings (scenes have taken place in OfficeMax and Home Depot stores) and products directly incorporated into the storyline, such as luxury cars (the Chevrolet Suburban and Porsche Cayenne S SUVs as well as the Maserati 4200 GT sports car have all been plot devices) and the New Jersey newspaper, The Star Ledger, which is regularly seen reporting on the show's storyline. Several of HBO's other shows have been used in The Sopranos episodes such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Band of Brothers. Other examples of intertextuality include references to Goodfellas, starring Lorraine Bracco (Jennifer Melfi) and The Matrix, starring Joe Pantoliano (Ralph Cifaretto) as well as "Saw"(2004).
Criticism and praise
on the cover of TV Guide
The Sopranos has been consistently hailed as one of the best shows on television, being named the top drama series of All-Time by TV Guide, #5 on their Top 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list (behind only Seinfeld, I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and All in the Family). The show topped virtually every "Best TV Show" list in its debut season in 1999, with the New York Times calling it "the greatest work of American popular culture in the last 25 years." Newsweek has said in the past that it was "far and away, the best show on television." As a sign of its popularity, ads for the show starting with the fourth season feature just a promotional shot of the regular cast, with title of the show omitted from the ad. This perhaps signifies that the characters are so recognizable that people viewing the ad don't need to see the words "The Sopranos" to know what it is. Early sixth season promotional posters just had the premiere date of "March 12" with a hand holding a gun replacing the "r" in March.
However, the show has faced a variety of criticisms. It has been called anti-Italian with discrimination directly aimed at Italian-Americans due to a certain mob stereotype. The "discrimination" claim which has occurred throughout its entire run led to a bizarre moment when the cast was banned from participating in the Columbus Day Parade mere weeks after "Christopher", an episode that revolved around the threat of mob violence when local Native Americans threatened to protest a Columbus Day parade. The show has made reference to these criticisms in various episodes, particularly those written by Michael Imperioli.
Many have claimed that the series' content is too vulgar and violent. The beating and subsequent death of Tracee and the rape of Dr. Melfi are two examples of the show pushing the envelope when it comes to on-screen violence. However many fans criticized the fourth season for lacking the violence that the other seasons had. For this, many consider season four to be the weakest of the six seasons that have aired thus far.
Many viewers have also been frustrated by how many storylines are left unfinished, the most frequent examples being the missing Russian, Valery from "Pine Barrens" and Dr. Melfi's rapist from "Employee of the Month" David Chase has insisted that both storylines were self-contained episodes not meant to be long-running arcs . It should be noted that the writers of the show are known for building certain storylines very slowly and seemingly forgetting certain details for months and even years, and then bringing them up briefly in certain episodes, the best examples being the Raymond Curto/FBI informant storyline.
Despite the criticisms, The Sopranos is the most critically praised show of its time. The show has seen appreciation from many other shows and programs in the world of media. The opening sequence was sufficiently recognizable as a parody on an episode of The Simpsons in 2002, with Fat Tony standing in for Tony Soprano in "Papa's Got a Brand New Badge". The Simpsons episode also featured Silvio Dante, Paulie Walnuts, and Chris Moltisanti as the "Jersey Muscle."
It was also parodied in the Adult Swim show Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, in 2003, in an episode where Fred Flintstone is a mob boss. During the 2001 Fox NASCAR coverage of the Coca-Cola 600, a segment called "The Pit Reporters" was played where Chris Myers is Tony Soprano, and Jeanne Zelasko is Dr. Melfi. It was inspired by an incident where FOX NASCAR studio host Chris Myers and analyst Jeff Hammond were attacked by Super Soaker water gun-wielding pit reporters Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum during a rain delay at The Winston. Myers commented, "They should appear at The Sopranos." For the 600, Tony Soprano (Myers) makes an appearance at Dr. Melfi's (Jeanne Zelasko) office previewing the 600. The show has many other references in a wide variety of media resources. The level of popularity the show has reached can be considered that of a cultural phenomenon.
Life imitating art
As of the sixth season, there have been numerous arrests in the past for many actors on the series. The following arrests have greatly impacted the cast and news media:
- Lillo Brancato Jr. - Played Soprano associate Matthew Bevilaqua, a major character in the second season. He was arrested and charged with second degree murder. He was an accomplice in a robbery, resulting in a police officer's death when Brancato's partner Steven Armento engaged in a gunfight with the off-duty officer.
- John Ventimiglia - The actor who plays Artie Bucco throughout the series was caught for DWI and drunk driving with an alcohol level of 0.12. He was also carrying a bag that had cocaine residue.
- Louis Gross - Portrayed Perry Annunziata in the sixth season. He was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after breaking into a woman's home claiming he was there to take back possession of his belongings.
- Robert Iler - The actor who plays Anthony Soprano, Jr., was arrested for armed robbery of two Brazilian tourists and possession of marijuana. He pled guilty to a charge of larceny and received three years probation.
- Vincent Pastore - The actor who played mob soldier turned rat Big Pussy Bonpensiero was charged for assaulting his girlfriend during an argument in a car. He allegedly smacked her head around and slammed it into the auto's gear shift. He then yanked her out of the car they were in. He received community service hours.
- Tony Sirico - The actor who plays mob underboss Paulie Walnuts was charged with numerous criminal activities totaling 28 arrests before joining the cast. Some of his more notable arrests were for a chain of nightclub hold-ups.
- Richard Maldone - The actor who played Acting Capo Albert Barese has been arrested and convicted for assault, grand larceny, forgery, and criminal possession of stolen property. He was recently arrested on a drug charge that could have landed him 15 years, but the case was dismissed.
The show has been noted for its fitting and obscure music selections. David Chase and music editor Kathryn Dayak handpick every song, sometimes with the seal of approval from Steven Van Zandt.  Many songs are repeated multiple times through an episode, such as "Living on a Thin Line" by The Kinks in University and "Glad Tidings" by Van Morrison in All Due Respect. The creators of the show have used several artists multiple times through the course of the series, such as Annie Lennox, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, and Frank Sinatra.
In 2006, HBO.com and iTunes began offering a Sopranos "iMix", a playlists of songs featured in Season 6 episodes. Robert Iler also has a featured playlist of songs the actor himself selected.
An original aspect of the show is its sparse, often minimalist use of incidental music. While most TV series rely on musical scores to emphasize tension or dramatic moments, The Sopranos rarely use this resource. The most brutal scenes are often unaccompanied by any sort of background music, which gives the show a real life-like feeling to the viewer.
A traditional season opening scene with Tony getting the paper. From 4-1 "For All Debts Public and Private"
- The show was originally slated to air on the FOX network and a pilot had already been made. However, FOX rejected the show and HBO picked up the series.
- Tony Sirico signed on to play Paulie Walnuts as long as his character was not to be a "rat."
- In "The Test Dream" — when Tony states he's done his homework — he reveals the book The Valachi Papers written by Peter Maas. The book is the story of the first ever FBI informant to confirm the existence of Cosa Nostra.
- Whenever major characters are to be murdered, David Chase tells the actors far in advance to prepare them for the scene.
- In every season after the first, at least one multi-season character has been killed off.
- Season 2: Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero
- Season 3: Gigi Cestone, Sunshine, Jackie Aprile, Jr.
- Season 4: Ralph Cifaretto, Gloria Trillo
- Season 5: Carmine Lupertazzi, Jack Massarone, Joe Peeps, Adriana La Cerva
- Season 6: Dick Barone, Raymond Curto, Eugene Pontecorvo, Rusty Millio, Eddie Pietro
- The cast has made it a tradition to take cast members who are killed off on the show to Il Cortile, a restaurant in Little Italy, for a farewell dinner.
- The fact that any cast member could be killed off at any time is referred to as the "Big Pussy Rule" (coined by Steven R. Schirripa).
- James Gandolfini was initially opposed to the murder of Richie Aprile; however, the writers and HBO disagreed and he was killed in Episode 25, "The Knight in White Satin Armor".
- HBO was concerned about the show's title The Sopranos because they did not want viewers to think it was about music. Therefore, there is a gun where the "r" should be in the logo.
- When the show was a FOX project, it was known as Made in Jersey. Other titles that were considered included The Family Guy and Red Sauce.
- Drea de Matteo confirmed in her 2005 audio commentary for the episode "Long Term Parking" that the death of Adriana La Cerva was for real.
- James Gandolfini is the only actor to appear in every episode of the series.
- David Chase loved Drea de Matteo's acting and enthusiasm as a Maitre'D (at a restaurant Tony and Dr. Melfi dined at) in the pilot so much that he made her a series regular in Denial, Anger, Acceptance.
- The tumultuous relationship between Tony Soprano and his mother, Livia Soprano, is based partially on David Chase's relationship with his own mother, Norma.
- A majority of the television sets on the show are made by Philips with several by Zenith and Sony.
- The Sopranos live on Aspen Drive in North Caldwell, New Jersey.
- The character of Tony Soprano was originally named Tommy.
- Though filmed on location in New Jersey, a majority of the interior filming is done at Silvercup Studios in Queens, New York.
- When Nancy Marchand died in 2000, David Chase resurrected the character of Livia for one final episode in 2001 using state of the art computer-generated imagery, which cost approximately $250,000.
- Joe Pantoliano knew in 2001 when he signed on to play the role of Ralph Cifaretto that he would only last two seasons and that his demise would not be a pretty one.
- The college locations and the Maine scenes in College were actually filmed in rural New Jersey. The college exteriors are located at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
- All "Bada Bing" interior and exteriors are filmed on location at Satin Dolls, an actual go-go bar in Lodi, New Jersey.
- Adriana's club, "The Crazy Horse," was once known as The Lollipop Club, once owned by Vincent Pastore, who played Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero from 1999–2000.
- The season finale of Season 4, Whitecaps, is the longest Sopranos episode to date, clocking in at 75 minutes.
- The only character allowed to wear sunglasses on the series is Christopher Moltisanti, according to David Chase; however, Tony and Jackie Jr. have been seen wearing sunglasses on at least two occasions. This rule was broken in the sixth season premiere; Tony, Christopher, Paulie and Silvio were all seen wearing sunglasses while visiting an optometrists office.
- Although the series was shot in HDTV (High Definition Television, 16:9 widescreen) from its inception, the show wouldn't be broadcast in this format until the fourth season (2002). The DVDs, however, maintain the widescreen format of HD.
- HBO has thrown a premiere party at Radio City Music Hall for every season premiere. In an interview, Lorraine Bracco said that the network will forgo the premiere party of the sixth season (and all advance screenings) to preserve a surprise plot twist that occurs in the first episode of the new season. HBO did host the show's sixth season premiere at the Museum of Modern Art, but only friends of the cast and assorted A-Listers attended the event.
Chris Moltisanti, Johnny Tightlips, Silvio Dante, and Paulie Walnuts in The Simpsons
- The first episode of every season (except for the sixth) features a closeup shot of the newspaper laying on the driveway of the Sopranos residence. The first four seasons had Tony coming outside to pick up the newspaper. The Fifth Season, due to Tony moving out of the house in the season 4 finale, had Meadow running over the newspaper with her car. The sixth season began with a montage of characters clips, followed by Tony digging up Junior's backyard. In\ Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request, the fifth episode of season 6 featured the newspaper shot, with Carmela coming outside to pick up the paper and throwing away the section with Uncle Junior on the cover. In Moe N' Joe, the tenth episode of season 6, Tony comes out in the beginning to get the paper.
- The characters most commonly speculated to be "whacked" in the near future (i.e. are the favorites in mid-season speculation from year-to-year) are Christopher and Paulie.
- Lorraine Bracco, who had previously played the role of mob wife, Karen Hill in Goodfellas, was originally asked to play the role of Carmela. She took the role as Dr. Melfi because she felt that would be more of a challenge for her. Coincidentally, Suzanne Shepherd, who played Karen Hill's mother in Goodfellas, now plays Carmela's mother in "The Sopranos".
- Steve Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) and David Proval (Richie Aprile) auditioned to play Tony Soprano. Ray Liotta was a prime candidate for the role of Tony Soprano ahead of James Gandolfini.
- Every season finale (up to the fifth season) which include I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano, Funhouse, The Army of One, Whitecaps and All Due Respect have been directed by John Patterson. Patterson was expected to return to direct several episodes of Season 6 but died in 2005 .
- At one point there were talks of a Sopranos feature film that was to be released after the series had ended. While this idea was reportedly scrapped in favor of "The Final Eight" episodes that are set to debut in January 2007, creator David Chase did not rule out the possibility of a Sopranos movie sometime down the road.
- During the fourth season it is revealed that Bobby Jr's AOL screen name is PowerBob386. After the airing of the episode, a real PowerBob386 AOL account was made and later sold on eBay.
- Six of The Sopranos cast appeared in Mickey Blue Eyes the same year that The Sopranos began: Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts), John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano), Vincent Pastore (Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero), Frank Pellegrino (Bureau Chief Frank Cubitoso), and Joseph R. Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore).
- Carmela is usually found reading the book Memoirs of a Geisha on her bed.
- Tony uses the codename "Mr. Spears" when he contacts Assemblyman Zellman and uses the name to schedule a therapy appointment with another therapist. Tony uses the name "Mr. Petraglia" when checking into the Plaza Hotel. Some believe it is a reference to one of the two Petralia villages in Sicily, Petralia Soprana (Upper Petralia). The other one is Petralia Sottana (Lower Petralia).
- One common bond that ties each of the seasons together is the so-called "Aprile Curse", where during the season at least one member of the Aprile crew or family dies.
- In Where's Johnny?, a bartender is reading a New York Post before Lorraine Calluzzo and Jason Evanina walk in and are promptly beaten by Phil Leotardo and Joey Peeps. Calluzzo represents New York Post entertainment journalist Linda Stasi, who gave season four horrible reviews, wanting more deaths in the show. Johnny Sack even complaines about Calluzzo and her bloody-thirsty rants later in the same episode.
The Sopranos is broadcast on the following channels around the world.
- USA: January 10, 1999 on HBO
- UK: July 15, 1999 on E4 (first run) Channel 4 (second run), and More4 (repeats). More4 will start being the first run station for Season 6.
- France: September 5, 1999 on Jimmy and France 2
- Switzerland: October 27, 1999
- Hungary: February 9, 2000 on HBO Central-Europe
- Germany: March 12, 2000 on ZDF (Season 1-3), 2004 on pay-TV channel Premiere (Seasons 1-5) and 2005 on Kabel 1
- Spain: May 7, 2000 on FOX
- Canada: September 17, 2000 on The Movie Network/Movie Central and CTV. Both The Movie Network and Movie Central air the program uncut, while CTV airs it uncut with commercials.
- Estonia: December 20, 1999 on ETV
- Finland: October 2, 2000 on Nelonen
- Iceland: October 2, 2000
- Sweden: October 6, 2000 on SVT
- Belgium: November 20, 2000
- Turkey: December 7, 2000 on TV8, March 1, 2006 on CNBC-e
- Italy: May 23, 2001 on FOX
- Austria: July 3, 2002 on ORF
- Russia: October 27, 2002 on NTV
- Serbia and Montenegro: on HBO
- Denmark: on TV2
- Ireland: on RTE
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: on Mreza Plus
- Croatia: HRT (national television)
- Australia: on the Nine Network and Foxtel
- Macedonia: on A1 TV
- New Zealand: on TVNZ
- Norway: on NRK1
- Pakistan: on TV ONE
- Arab World: on One TV
- Albania: 2001 on Top Channel
- Israel: on HOT 3, Channel 2 and Channel 10
- India: on HBO 
- Portugal: on RTP2
- Latin America: on HBO Latin America. Note: due to licensing restrictions, some countries wouldn't show it.
- Lithuania: on LNK
HBO broadcasting history
- Season 1 - Sunday January 10, 1999 – Sunday April 4, 1999 at 9:00 pm
- Season 2 - Sunday January 16, 2000 – Sunday April 9, 2000 at 9:00 pm
- Season 3 - Sunday March 4, 2001 – Sunday May 20, 2001 at 9:00 pm
- Season 4 - Sunday September 15, 2002 – Sunday December 8, 2002 at 9:00 pm
- Season 5 - Sunday March 7, 2004 – Sunday June 6, 2004 at 9:00 pm
- Season 6 (Part One) - Sunday March 12, 2006 – Sunday June 4, 2006 at 9:00 pm
- Season 6 (Part Two) - January 2007
- ^  "Jersey Cases Inspire New Season", Newark Star Ledger, April 5, 2001
- ^  "Sopranos Product Placement Watch", BusinessWeek Online, 2006
- ^  "HBO shows use real brands", USA Today, December 12, 2002
- ^  "Advertisers find "Sopranos" hard to refuse", Reuters, October 11, 2002
- ^  "Sopranos Product Placement", Chicago Tribune
- ^  "Soprano Parade Plans Iced", E! Online, October 10, 2002
- ^  "Jersey Cases Inspire New Season", Newark Star Ledger, January 9, 2004
- ^  "Sopranos Invitation", DGA, March 11, 2004
- ^  "The hits keep on coming," The Star Ledger, March 08, 2006
- ^ HBO: Music
- ^  "'Sopranos' Creator Whacks Press", FoxNews.com, March 01, 2006
- ^  "Tony Soprano Ready for His Close-Up?", E! Online, Feb. 27, 2006
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