Gomorrah hits screens in the USA
by Camillo De Marco
- The first season of the Italian series, which has been sold in 170 countries, airs on North American screens tonight, courtesy of Sundance TV
The first season of Gomorrah airs on North American screens tonight, courtesy of Sundance TV, which bought the rights to the Italian series by Sky. The series has already been sold in 170 countries and aired in 113 to date. The series, which was created by Roberto Saviano and is based on his novel of the same name, will be aired in the USA under the English translation of the title, Gomorrah.
"It’s a very strong and dramatic series, with a healthy dose of Shakespearian tragedy thrown in for good measure", proclaimed Joel Stillerman, president of the programming and development section at Sundance TV, after purchasing the rights to the series. “We’re proud to present one-of-a-kind stories from a unique point of view, and the series’ crude exploration of Camorra families fits in well with this approach". The Wall Street Journal describes the series as Italy’s most successful television export to date: “Fans of The Wire and The Sopranos have a new crime show to add to their queues”, whilst The New York Times writes that the book of 2007 was "dark", Matteo Garrone’s successful film adaptation was "darker", and the TV series of the "darkest" yet.
Produced by Sky, Cattleya and Fandango with the participation of LA7 and Beta Film, the series was written by Saviano together with Stefano Bises, Leonardo Fasoli, Ludovica Rampoldi and Giovanni Bianconi. The directors of the first two seasons are Stefano Sollima, (Suburra [+see also:
interview: Stefano Sollima
film profile]), Francesca Comencini (Un giorno speciale [+see also:
interview: Filippo Scicchitano and Giu…
interview: Francesca Comencini
film profile]), Claudio Cupellini (The Beginners [+see also:
film profile]), and Claudio Giovannesi (Fiore [+see also:
Q&A: Claudio Giovannesi
film profile]). The production of a third season is currently in the pipeline, with filming set to begin in October.
For Roberto Saviano, television series are overtaking films in terms of audience numbers and innovative potential. “There’s more room for diving into reality and documenting it. One standalone film like Coppola’s The Godfather doesn’t show us the inner workings of the mafia and their accumulation of wealth. Recently American series have started to bear the marks of an Italian-style neorealism: Breaking Bad shows you how to cook methamphetamine, just like Gomorrah shows you how to rig an election and cut deals with politicians”.
(Translated from Italian)