LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- All the myths, legends and tales about "mob life" have all centered on the made men who run these wrong-side-of-the-law closed societies until now. VH1 will debut a provocative new series, "Mob Wives," on Sunday, April 17th at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. The series premiere introduces four Staten Island women at a crossroads, having to pick up the pieces and carry on while their husbands or fathers do time for alleged Mob-related activities. United by a bond which few understand, the women are struggling with their identities, their own families and their futures.
Produced by The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Electus, and created and executive produced by real-life "mob daughter" Jennifer Graziano of JustJenn Productions, the series follows a group of suburban women who lead anything but "normal" lives, a sisterhood forged by suffering, shame, and the strength it takes to start over and find their own identities. Executive producing for Left/Right are Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman and Nina Diaz. Executive producers for VH1 include Shelly Tatro, Kari McFarland, Rick Hankey and Jeff Olde.
Following the premiere on April 17th, "Mob Wives" will air on VH1 for a total of ten episodes. Promos and additional information about the series can be found at MobWives.VH1.com. Full episodes of "Mob Wives" will be available at MobWives.VH1.com after their on-air premieres.
Meet the "Mob Wives":
Renee Graziano is like any other single mother, trying to raise her teenage son AJ to be a good man. But Renee's own childhood was not like most other kids. She grew up during the heyday of the mob, enjoying the lavish lifestyle that her father Anthony Graziano's connections afforded her. But now that AJ's father and her ex-husband "Junior" has been arrested, she's slowly realizing that this is not a life she wants her son to lead. She now struggles to balance her allegiance to the street life with her hopes that her son will live a life that's free of it.
Karen Gravano was just 19 years old when her father turned on the mafia, a move that left Karen devastated. She has spent the last 12 years in Arizona fighting to become her own person and understanding the choices made by her father Sammy "The Bull" Gravano who helped the government take down John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. Now, she is ready to start over and return to Staten Island to reconnect and rebuild old relationships as she confronts her family's notorious past.
Drita D'avanzo comes from a strict Albanian household and defied her parents by marrying an Italian, someone outside their community. Tough as nails, Drita plays hard and is fiercely protective of her inner circle and her two young girls that she is raising alone while her husband does a second stint in prison for bank robbery. She now grapples with her husband's misdeeds and the consequences of falling in love with and marrying a man who has been in prison for many years. Drita is finally questioning whether she should stay with him or start anew.
Carla Facciolo had a similar upbringing to Renee Graziano. In fact, her father went to prison when she was a young girl. Carla thought she had finally gotten away from the lifestyle she lived growing up -- until her husband was convicted of stock fraud and sentenced to an 8-year stretch in federal prison. Now a stay-at-home mom trying to make ends meet, she still hasn't told their twins the truth of their dad's whereabouts because she feels they are too young to know. But he's getting out of jail soon, and Carla's decided to leave him and go out on her own. But how will she do that?
"Reality is a young genre that continues to grow and is taking us into ever more fascinating places," shared Meryl Poster, TWC's President of Television. "'Mob Wives' provides an unprecedented & illuminating glimpse into a New York community that has long captured the public imagination. To watch these four women who have become heads of households by default is both heartbreaking and mesmerizing. As a New York based company, TWC is thrilled that our neighbors across the river in Staten Island have so graciously welcomed us and soon the public into their lives."
"We are so thrilled to be partnered with VH1 and The Weinstein Company on such a powerful and dynamic series, and we cannot wait to introduce the world to these four extraordinary women," said Jimmy Fox, Electus Development Executive and Executive Producer.
"'Mob Wives' is one of the most authentic and compelling series we've ever done at VH1," said Jeff Olde, EVP Original Programming and Production, VH1. "At its heart are four strong women who either grew up in 'the life,' or married into it. They are all now at a defining moment, picking up the pieces and carrying on as their husbands or fathers do time. Each woman is re-examining her life to determine what's best for her and her children."
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, most recently Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards including Best Picture; Derek Cianfrance's Academy Award-nominated Blue Valentine; and John Wells' feature directorial debut, The Company Men. Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as Grindhouse, I'm Not There, The Great Debaters, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Reader, The Road, Halloween, The Pat Tillman Story, Piranha 3D, Inglourious Basterds, A Single Man, Nine and 2011 Golden Globe® Best Foreign Language Film nominee The Concert. Recently wrapping is My Week with Marilyn, Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids 4 and the fourth installment of the Scream franchise. Currently in production is Douglas McGrath's I Don't Know How She Does It.
TWC is also active in television production, with credits including the Emmy® Award-winning hit reality series "Project Runway," and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency." The company is producing two "Project Runway" spinoffs, "Project Runway: Masters" and "Project Runway: Accessories," which are expected to debut in 2011. The company currently has 15 series in different stages of development including "Marco Polo," a scripted historical series about the great explorer; "The Nanny Diaries," based on the hit book; and "The Mad Ones," adapted from the Mafia novel of the same name.
Electus is the first integrated multimedia entertainment studio to unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. Headed by Ben Silverman, in partnership with IAC [Nasdaq: IACI], the company connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling marketers and advertisers to be a true partner in campaigns and content creation. For more information on Electus, visit www.electus.com.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 98 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1.com and VH1 Mobile. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.