HBO Pays Multiplatform Homage to James Gandolfini

Cabler memorializes late ‘Sopranos’ actor on-air and online, considers additional tribute specials

HBO is eulogizing James Gandolfini on TV, the web and social media, as premium cabler acknowledges the actor who firmly established its push into original television programming with his portrayal of Tony Soprano.

Gandolfini — best known for his turn as the New Jersey mob boss on “The Sopranos” over six seasons — died Wednesday at the age of 51 of a heart attack while on vacation in Italy.

Time Warner-owned net is attempting to be cautious and understated in Gandolfini tributes, so that it does not appear to be trying to cash in on his untimely death. Amazon.com on Wednesday night on Facebook posted a link to the DVD box set of the complete season of “The Sopranos”, but deleted it after users complained; in any case, DVD and digital download sales of the series have soared in the past two days.

SEE ALSO: Gandolfini Autopsy: Actor Died of Heart Attack

On linear channels, HBO began running a 15-second on-air spot Thursday night that will continue through at least through the weekend, a rep said. The network is considering additional tributes from HBO programming “but we cannot provide additional information until details are finalized,” rep said.

Also Thursday, HBO and “The Sopranos” pages on Facebook switched their cover photos to solid back cover images with the text “James Gandolfini 1961-2013” along with the copy, “Today, we cut to black.” The HBO.com homepage features an image of Gandolfini with the official HBO statement about his death.

On Twitter, @HBOGO Friday morning started pointing followers to standout episodes featuring Gandolfini on HBO Go, the online streaming service available only to current subscribers of the network through a participating pay TV provider. Other HBO social profiles will “remain relatively silent for the day,” cabler’s rep said.

“He brought complexity and grace to Tony,” @HBOGO tweeted. “Today we relive the humanity of his iconic character. Follow along and watch with us. #Sopranos.”

HBO also will include a James Gandolfini memorial collection of programming on HBO Go. The network has declined to provide viewing statistics for the authenticated service.

Finally, cabler said it will place tribute ads in next week’s issues of Hollywood trade publications.

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  1. SASA says:

    rest in peace James, join the LIght cause thats what U are… thanxs for everything you gave us…Sasa, Serbia

  2. Mike says:

    Interesting that HBO declared him passed like they were an authoritiy. See the article. I didn’t know they had medical examiners on staff. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/arts/television/james-gandolfini-sopranos-star-dies-at-51.html?_r=0

  3. Stuart Damon says:

    Mr. Gandolfini through brilliant writing, and more brilliant acting made us feel camaraderie with a mob boss in sharing the all the ups & downs of the human experience. For this, we felt a little less lonely, and often had a smile. How could anyone ask for more?

  4. Wendi Leon says:

    The old saying only the good die young is so true. This death confirms that. May he rest in peace and forever leave his presence felt in all he loved. What a legacy.

  5. Luigi says:

    I’m so sad about this loss. he was a so great actor and a good man.
    Luigi from Venezia

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