The Chicago Syndicate: TV

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Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Drita D'avanzo of VH1's Mob Wives

Drita D'avanzo is the wife of Lee D'avanzo, who federal prosecutors allege is the leader of a Bonanno and Colombo crime family farm team. While Drita's husband is serving time in prison for bank robbery (for the second time), she is left alone raising two young girls, Aleeya (9) and Gizelle (3). Drita comes from a strict Albanian household who defied her parents and married someone outside the community -- an Italian.
Drita D'avanzo

Drita grew up different from the other women. She was raised in the projects of Staten Island after her family settled there from Albania. Her father, a strict soccer coach, raised her to be tough and play with the boys. She was never allowed to cry, and had to do hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups a day to meet her father's high standards. Drita was invited to play for the Women's National Soccer Team and was all set to go until she met her first love, "the streets".

She dated street guy after street guy until ultimately finding and marrying Lee. At first everything was great and she had everything she wanted. However, Lee was allegedly robbing banks (among other things), and before she gave birth to their first daughter, he was escorted away by the Feds for an 8 year prison term. Drita had their baby, and stood by her man -- who promised her that he would never leave her again.

During Lee's first prison sentence, Drita realized that she must do something to stand on her own two feet in case she is ever left in a position like this again. She studied to become a make-up artist and worked for various high end cosmetic companies while her husband was away. Almost eight years later Lee came home and they started over. They built a new home, made baby number two, and Lee even got a legitimate job. However the good times were short lived. Again, Lee was arrested and sentenced to prison for 2 -- 5 years for similar crimes. Needless to say, Drita was not happy. But, like so many times before, she picked up the pieces and carried on. As a mother of two with a husband in jail, she struggles to keep it all together while figuring out if this is a lifestyle she wants to continue to live. Currently, she freelances as a make-up artist and plans to develop her own cosmetic line.

Drita is tough as nails and infamous for her many fights and knock outs growing up. Now a mother, she struggles to control her anger and often feels nostalgic for times when a problem could be solved with a fist.


Renee Graziano of VH1's Mob Wives

Renee Graziano is the daughter of Anthony Graziano, who according to the Federal Government was a high ranking member of La Cosa Nostra. Renee grew up during the heyday of the mob -- when things still fell off trucks and people still dropped off envelopes even when it wasn't your birthday.


Immersed in the culture since birth, she embraced the lifestyle as her own and became a "mob loyalist".

Renee eventually married (then divorced) Junior. Together they have one son, AJ.

When Renee was young her best friend was arrested and sentenced to many years behind bars. This was her first real introduction to prison, but unfortunately not her last. Thanks to a circle of friends living the street life, Renee has visited over 83 prisons and written hundreds of letters to comfort the many friends she had on "the inside." This correspondence gave her the idea to turn her love of the "the life" into a greeting card company called JAIL MAIL.

Renee sometimes longs for the good old days, but thanks to her friends she is slowly starting to realize that this is not a life she wants her son to lead. She struggles to balance her allegiance to the street life with her hopes that her son will live a life free of it all.

Renee is hysterical, Renee is crazy, and Renee is drama, but she will be the first to give you the shirt off her back. Everyone and anyone who knows her, knows this.


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Are you ready to become the best shooter athlete you can be?



I Am Forever | Episode 1: "Baseline"
Fitness expert Isaiah Truyman and veteran Green Beret John Wayne Walding introduce a new training program for the shooter athlete. This season, train with high school senior Reagan Tyler and watch your shooting and athletic abilities improve.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Corruption of Power and Politics, Prohibition Era, Hit Series @BoardwalkEmpire is Coming to an End

HBO’s popular hit series Boardwalk Empire is coming to an end. The upcoming fifth season will be its last. The show’s creator Terence Winter said, “We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire. After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.”

The show takes place in 1920s and 30s Atlantic City, NJ. It features Steve Buscemi as power-hungry millionaire Nucky Thompson. The drama examines the corruption of power and politics during the prohibition era when many politicians were just as crooked as mobsters.

The show is not ending because of a lack of popularity or ratings. Although the period drama never reached the heights of The Sopranos or the critical acclaim of The Wire, it has been a steady earner for HBO and currently ranks third in the ratings to Game of Thrones and True Blood. The show has won a total of five Emmy Awards.

There are plenty of loose ends for season five to tie-up. Nucky’s brother Eli, who ratted him out to the Feds, has been sent to Chicago where he’ll meet up with the likes of Al Capone. Gillian is in prison and suffering from a nervous breakdown. Chalky will certainly look to avenge the death of his daughter. What’s to become of the evil Dr. Narcisse? How far will J. Edgar Hoover go in his war on the mob?

Winter and company will have to complete their series arc in just 12 episodes. The final season will air this fall.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Official Sneak Preview of #MobCity on TNT




The epic battle between a determined police chief and a dangerous mobster inflames 1940s Los Angeles in TNT's eagerly anticipated television event Mob City (formerly known as Lost Angels). This powerful drama comes to TNT from Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead), who wrote and directed the pilot and serves as executive producer on the series.

Based on the critically acclaimed book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, by John Buntin, Mob City opens in post-war Los Angeles, home to glamorous movie stars, powerful studio heads and returning war heroes. But it's also a city caught between a powerful and corrupt police force and an even more dangerous criminal network determined to make L.A. its West Coast base.

Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker (Neal McDonough -- Captain America, Desperate Housewives)) has made it his mission to free the city of criminals like Ben "Bugsy" Siegel (Ed Burns -- Entourage) and Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke -- Don Jon), the ruthless king of the Los Angeles underworld. Parker also won't hesitate to go after anyone from his own police force who sells out honor and duty for the sake of a big payout. To carry out his sweep of organized crime, Parker sets up a new mob task force within the LAPD. Headed by Det. Hal Morrison (Jeffrey DeMunn -- The Walking Dead, The Shawshank Redemption), the task force includes Det. Joe Teague (Jon Bernthal -- The Walking Dead), an ex-Marine who holds his cards close to his chest.

Mob City's exceptional ensemble cast also includes Gregory Itzin (24), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and Alexa Davalos (Clash of the Titans, The Mist).

Mob City is produced by TNT Originals, with Darabont, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Elliot Webb (Alpha House) serving as executive producers.

Premieres Wednesday, December 4 at 10/9c on TNT.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Discovery Series #BarHunters, Featuring Chicago Restaurateur Tom Powers, Gives Wannabe Bar Owners the Chance to Turn Their Dreams into Reality

Opening a bar is no party. While many people dream of running a bar of their own, at least half of them fail within the first year. Enter renowned bar expert and sommelier Tom Powers, who has helped open more than two dozen successful restaurants and bars.  Now he’s using his expertise to help first-time bar owners find their dream bars in the new series BAR HUNTERS, premiering Monday, October 21, at 10 PM E/P on Discovery.

Each week, Tom will hunt down three high potential spots and reveal how each location can be transformed into the ultimate money making investment. But not all spaces are created equally, with each having its own share of positives and negatives. Tom gives his expert opinion, ranking each space on a scale of one to 10 for success.  But ultimately, the decision is in the hands of the bar newbies who must decide which space fits their budget and concept.

The first two 30-minute episodes will air back-to-back beginning at 10PM on Monday, Oct. 21.  In the first episode, Tom heads out to the college party town of Tempe, Arizona, where he meets longtime pals Ben and Lars who are looking to open a down and dirty, All-American country western bar complete with a mechanical bull.  But can Tom successfully find the right spot without breaking the bank?

Then, in the second episode airing at 10:30PM, Tom meets a father and his two sons looking to open a California beach-themed bar – right in the heart of Dallas, Texas.  Can Tom show this trio the spots that give off the California vibes they’re looking for without having to leave their hometown?

From dive bars and brew houses in Pennsylvania to an Irish pub in the American heartland of Kansas to party and sports bars in America’s top cities, BAR HUNTERS travels the country helping everyday people follow their dream of opening a bar of their very own.

BAR HUNTERS is produced for Discovery Channel by Shooters TV.  For Shooters TV, Natalie Feldman serves as executive producer. For Discovery, Christo Doyle is executive producer, Jim Beard serves as supervising producer with Meagan Davis as producer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Boardwalk Empire Volume 2: Music From The HBO Original Series - Paying Homage to Sounds from the Prohibition Era

This September, luminaries from across the music world are paying homage to the sounds of the Prohibition Era with the ABKCO Records release of 'Boardwalk Empire Volume 2: Music From The HBO® Original Series.' The soundtrack features all new recordings from a wide range of vocalists - from Elvis Costello and Patti Smith to St. Vincent and The National's Matt Berninger - singing timeless standards and forgotten gems from the 1920s. Season 4 of the hit HBO series premiered on September 8th.

Following up on their GRAMMY win for Volume 1, producer Stewart Lerman and Boardwalk Empire music supervisor Randall Poster bring together a swinging, sauntering collection of big-band classics, New Orleans rags, sultry ballads and torch songs. Album highlights include Costello crooning "It Had To Be You," Liza Minnelli belting out "You've Got To See Mama Ev'ry Night (Or You Can't See Mama At All)," Berninger lending his rugged baritone to "I'll See You In My Dreams," and Neko Case breathing new life into "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out." Featuring inimitable contributions from high-profile recording artists including Rufus Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, St. Vincent and David Johansen, Poster has created an album that retains a remarkable cohesion with the series and with the music of the 1920s.

Poster, a frequent music supervisor for renowned directors including Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson and Sam Mendes, stated, "Boardwalk Empire provides an incredible back drop for music. It's been a steady treat to mark the passing of time in song over the course of four seasons," said series music supervisor Randall Poster. "Terry Winters, Martin Scorsese and the entire Boardwalk Empire team inspire the sound of the episodes as we move from the streets and alleys of Atlantic City to the smoky rooms of Al Capone's Chicago and on down into the tropics of Florida. This compilation celebrates the mastery of all the artists involved."

With instrumentation recorded by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - the NYC jazz ensemble and Boardwalk Empire house band - the album also includes performances by cast members Stephen DeRosa (as song-and-dance man Eddie Cantor) and Margot Bingham (as a new character to be introduced this fall) singing tracks that will be debuted throughout the new season.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE VOLUME 2 TRACK LIST

1. David Johansen - Strut Miss Lizzie
2. Stephen DeRosa - Old King Tut
3. Elvis Costello - It Had To Be You
4. Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks - Everybody Loves My Baby
5. Liza Minnelli - You've Got To See Mama Ev'ry Night (Or You Can't See Mama At All)
6. Leon Redbone - Baby Won't You Please Come Home
7. St. Vincent - Make Believe
8. Pokey LaFarge - Lovesick Blues
9. Neko Case - Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
10. Karen Elson - Who's Sorry Now
11. Stephan DeRosa - You'd Be Surprised
12. Margot Bingham - I'm Going South
13. Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks - Sugarfoot Stomp
14. Rufus Wainwright - Jimbo Jambo
15. Kathy Brier - There'll Be Some Changes Made
16. Margot Bingham - Somebody Loves Me
17. Chaim Tannenbaum - All Alone
18. Loudon Wainwright III - The Prisoner's Song
19. Patti Smith - I Ain't Got Nobody
20. Matt Berninger - I'll See You In My Dreams
*All tracks featuring Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Boardwalk Empire" The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray!

It's New Year's Eve 1922 and the Roaring '20s are about to begin in earnest. Despite a booming economy, alcohol is scarce in Atlantic City, competition is at its fiercest and gangster violence is heating up. The 12-time Emmy® Award winning Boardwalk Empire is back on August 20, 2013 when the third season debuts on Blu-ray with HBO Select* and Digital Download. Hailed as "striking," (Time.com) with "first-rate performances" (USA Today), Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Third Season is jam-packed with exclusive bonus material and is not to be missed!

Nucky Thompson has become Atlantic City's undisputed czar during Prohibition and is facing the challenge of mending old relationships. While his marriage lies in shambles, he faces new competition from Gyp Rosetti, a hair-trigger gangster determined to siphon off his alcohol business. The conflict brings out the best and worst in Nucky, who proves his brutal mettle in a series of violent encounters, as new and familiar faces also undergo compelling metamorphoses.

Blu-ray Features (along with all DVD extras):

-American Empires: Prohibition did little to quench the country's thirst for alcohol, and proved to be a boon to the era's gangsters. Learn more about these gangsters, their influence, and their systems of distribution in this interactive compendium.

-Boardwalk Chronicle: Track the major players and locations within each episode, and learn more about the historical threads woven into the season three storyline with this interactive, in-feature guide.

-Newsreels: Explore some of the real-world events and historical figures that inspired Boardwalk Empire season three with these 24 exclusive featurettes.

Boardwalk Empire stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson; Kelly Macdonald as Margaret, Nucky's wife; Michael Shannon as federal agent Nelson Van Alden; Gretchen Mol as Gillian, Jimmy Darmody's mother; Shea Whigham as Nucky's estranged brother Elias; Michael Stuhlbarg as gangster Arnold Rothstein; Stephen Graham as gangster Al Capone; Vincent Piazza as gangster Lucky Luciano; Michael Kenneth Williams as Nucky's ally Chalky White, leader of the city's African-American community; Anthony Laciura as Eddie Kessler, Nucky's valet; Paul Sparks as gangster Mickey Doyle; Jack Huston as Richard Harrow, a disfigured war veteran; Charlie Cox as Owen Sleater, Nucky's right-hand man; Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti, Nucky's new foe; Arron Shiver as gangster Dean O'Banion; Christopher McDonald as U.S. Attorney General Harry Daugherty; Stephen Root as Gaston Means, a go-between for Nucky and Daugherty; and Meg Chambers Steedle as Billie Kent, Nucky's new mistress. Created by Terence Winter, the series is executive produced by Winter, Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Tim Van Patten and Howard Korder; co-executive producers, Eugene Kelly, Chris Haddock, Andrew Schneider, Diane Frolov, Rolin Jones; producers, Joseph Iberti, Rick Yorn; co-producer, Steve Kornacki; supervising producer, David Stenn.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Alan Beiler of the #AmishMafia Receives Prison Sentence

A Pennsylvania man who stars in the Discovery Channel show "Amish Mafia" has been sentenced to three to 23 months in prison for leading police on a chase that injured a state trooper last summer.

Thirty-five-year-old Alan Beiler received the sentence Thursday in Perry County Court.

Police say the Lancaster County resident led them on a chase after they tried to stop him for an expired car registration. They say he drove against traffic and caused a pursuing state trooper to crash and suffer a concussion.

Beiler pleaded guilty in May to charges of attempting to elude police, drug possession and driving with a suspended license.

Defense attorney Mark Forrest Walmer says his client has turned around his life and has been drug-free for a year.

The show provides a look at the men who protect an Amish community.

Friday, January 04, 2013

HBO's Profugos - Fugitives from the Law and Mafia


A FAILED drug trafficking operation that sparks a frantic pursuit of four men in Chile as they flee both the Mafia and the law is the gripping premise of new 13-episode actioner Profugos which will premiere on Astro’s Cinemax channel 412 on Jan 4 at 11pm.

The four ‘profugos’, which means fugitive, had been contracted to transport a liquid cocaine shipment from the border of Bolivia to the Chilean port of Iquique but in the midst of the final delivery, a shot rings out from a nearby terrace, unleashing a violent ambush.

This brand new original series produced by HBO Latin America, was filmed over six months entirely in Chile, and heading the cast as the four fugitives are Nestor Cantillana, Benjamin Vicuna, Francisco Reyes and Luis Gnecco.

A complex web of ambitions, interests and corruption move the threads of this story where no one is who they appear to be, everyone hides a past and sheer desperation unites the foursome who flee without knowing exactly who’s pursuing them while doing everything possible to protect their loved ones.

Scenic locations in Chile serving as backdrop include Iquique, Valparaiso, Santiago, Farellones, Puerto Montt and desert regions bordering Bolivia.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Chicago Mob Wives Whacked


"Mob Wives Chicago" has been iced.

The VH1 reality show featured five women married or related to reputed mobsters in Chicago.

A spokesman confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that the show will not be coming back for a second season after an 11-episode run.

Cast member Pia Rizza told the newspaper that the Sunday night summer time slot and competition with the Olympics were factors in the low ratings.

The show was a spinoff of "Mob Wives," which followed the lives of five New York women with husbands connected to the Mafia.

The Chicago show faced some opposition from an Italian-American group that objected to the Mafia stereotypes, and businesses that would not cooperate with the show.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Skinny Joey Merlino, Former Philly Mob Boss, Calls "Jersey Shore" Guys a Disgrace to Italians

Ex-Philadelphia mafia boss "Skinny Joey" Merlino -- who served 12 years in federal prison for racketeering -- says the guys from "Jersey Shore" are a big, fat "disgrace to the Italians" ... seriously.

Merlino -- who was released from the slammer last year -- was at LAX yesterday, where he was picked up from the airport by Howard Stern's favorite mob family member Johnny Fratto.

It's unclear why Joey is in L.A. -- but as Johnny drove off with Merlino riding shotgun, he picked an interesting song choice to bump in his car ... Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom."

FYI -- Merlino was rumored to have been a heavy gambler before he got locked up ... and when we asked if he had any advice for Harvey (who's been getting killed with his NFL picks) ... "Skinny Joey" had one solid piece of advice ... and it involves one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady.

Thanks to TMZ.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mob Wives Chicago on DVD

"Mob Wives Chicago" follows the lives of five women allegedly connected to "The Outfit," Chicago's version of the Mob, as they bear the cross for the sins of their Mob-associated fathers. With lives that are right off the pages of a story book, each woman has chosen her own way to live her life in the city that was once home to Al Capone, sometimes in spite of and many times because of who her father is. Along the way these women battle their friends, families and each other as they try to do what's best for themselves and their children. But ultimately, it is the ghost of their fathers they battle, living and dead, as they try to overcome and persevere in the face of these men's notorious legacies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ralph Lamb, Former Sheriff, Inspires New CBS Show on Battle Between Chicago Mob in Las Vegas and Law Enforcement

A new television show based on former Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb debuts Tuesday night on CBS. Ralph Lamb, Former Sheriff, Inspires New CBS Show on Battle Between Chicago Mob in Las Vegas and Law Enforcement"Vegas" looks at the battle between organized crime and law enforcement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Lamb was the real-life sheriff at the time and went up against the mob and the Hell's Angels on the streets of Las Vegas.

In an interview with 8 News NOW anchor Paula Francis, Lamb recounts the toughest scrape he ever experienced.

"At the Sands Hotel, I guess," he said. "I was in the Sands alone and there were… they had a big craps game going on there. Some of the biggest guys in the country were shooting craps, and one guy was keeping score on a piece of paper. He'd bet him $50,000, I'll bet you 100. I didn't have any help and no help down there, but the office and the fight broke out. I got a guy named Joe Bernstein, who you know. I drug him kinda' over to the cage and was trying to reach for the phone in there. He was a big bruiser from San Francisco, a big strike breaker, you know. He went to whippin' on me while I had the phone in one hand, and I hit him with the telephone and knocked him down. But, it got pretty hairy there before I got any help."

Lamb says he's amazed he's still alive.

"I've been very lucky... had some close calls, and I've just been blessed with being lucky and knowing what I was doing and watching out for things," he said.

Station Casinos is holding a "Vegas" premiere party Tuesday night. 8 News NOW Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp is attending to introduce his story on Ralph Lamb. In honor of the show, Governor Brian Sandoval proclaimed Sept. 25 as "Sheriff Ralph Lamb Day."

"Vegas" premieres Tuesday night at 9 p.m. Chicago Time on CBS.

Thanks to KLAS.

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