Discovery digs into ‘Amish Mafia’

Skein comes on heels of TLC's 'Breaking Amish'

Discovery Communications is looking to harvest more ratings with programming rooted in Amish culture.

Following the success of Hot Snakes Media’s “Breaking Amish” on sibling TLC, Discovery Channel has teamed with the production company for a new skein dubbed “Amish Mafia.”

Show centers on a small, organized group of men who maintain peace and order within the Amish community in Lancaster County, Pa., one of the nation’s largest concentrations of Amish families. Discovery will debut the docuseries on Dec. 12 at 9 p.m., with a sneak peek slated to air the night before.

“Breaking Amish” frequently pulled more than 3 million total viewers in its Sunday-night timeslot on TLC to become its best-performing freshman skein ever, though the series was embroiled in behind-the-scenes controversy over the authenticity of what the show claimed to be a docu-style portrayal of Amish and Mennonite young men and women traveling New York City for the first time. During the run of the show, family members and others came forward asserting that some of the participants had left their rural roots behind long before the show began lensing.

A rep for Discovery declined comment on whether there were any special measures taken to ensure the veracity of the material featured in “Amish Mafia.”

“Amish Mafia” marks Discovery’s first full series foray into Amish-themed programming.

Eric Evangelista and Shannon Evangelista are exec producing “Amish Mafia” for Hot Snakes Media. Dolores Gavin is exec producing for Discovery with Matt Kelly.

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