The Sopranos was simply one of the best shows ever made. Period. It doesn’t matter how outdated it may seem when you watch episodes today, the series still manages to pull you in, decades later. The series premiered over 20 years ago, on January 10, 1999, helping usher in the concept of “prestige television.”
Even today, The Sopranos is still considered one of the best shows ever made. It only lasted six seasons, but those 86 episodes gave us lots to think about and discuss. Just take these few facts, for instance….
Before creator David Chase developed the story of Tony Soprano and his family, he pitched the concept as a film about a mobster who goes to therapy to discuss the problems he has with his mother.
According to Chase, his manager Lloyd Braun told him to consider making a TV series instead. Braun said to him, “I want you to know that we believe that you have inside you a great television series.”
While Chase refocused his attention to making it into a series, the tension between Tony and his mother, Livia, still provided the central conflict for the first season. But that’s where it was supposed to end.
Chase intended for Tony to suffocate his mother with a pillow after she tried to have him killed in season one. Nancy Marchand, who played Livia, was sick with cancer while filming the show, so she asked Chase: “David, just keep me working.” He gladly obliged.