Electus has partnered with former crime boss Michael Franzese and producers Moshe Diamant and Michael Tadross Jr. for a new scripted series about the Mafia, Variety has learned exclusively.
The series, currently titled “American Royalty,” will put modern spin on the crime genre that takes viewers back to a time when mobsters were bigger than life, often bringing politicians and corporate executives to their knees. The golden age of the mob took place in New York City from the 1950s through the 1980s, with nearly every notorious mobster reigning during that time.
“’American Royalty’ presents a modern take on a beloved genre, and its unflinching look at life inside the Mafia will captivate viewers around the world,” said John Pollak, president of worldwide television and Electus International. “The series will be comprised of tales spanning decades and generations, using real accounts to tell the story.”
Based on the true story, “Quitting the Mob: How the ‘Yuppie Don’ Left the Mafia and Lived to Tell His Story,” will be based on Franzese’s real life as a former New York mobster and caporegime of the Colombo crime family who was heavily involved in the gasoline tax rackets in the 1980s.
Born in Brooklyn, Franzese is the son of reputed Colombo underboss John “Sonny” Franzese, who reigned over the crime family’s Long Island rackets in the 1960s and was recently released from prison at age 100. The series will follow Michael and his father, who were intimately involved in La Cosa Nostra’s golden years in New York.
“’American Royalty’ is a Mafia version of ‘Game of Thrones,’ but with an important distinction – everything you see onscreen is true,” said Franzese. “You may have seen these legendary figures in documentaries, but never in a scripted series that really explores who they were and what they controlled, as told by one of their own. American Royalty is the real story of the mob’s business, activities, players, what they controlled and how eventually they all went down – informed by my own eyewitness accounts, testimonies and personal writings.”