You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mob rule on hit Italy TV show

Anti-Mafia skein has Costa Nostra below the line

Shooting a hit TV series about an anti-Mafia cop squad in Palermo, Sicily, can mean giving the Cosa Nostra a piece of the action, whether you know it or not.

In a somewhat surreal case of real life overlapping fiction, a recent investigation revealed that to make “Squadra Antimafia 3 Palermo Oggi,” the country’s top-rated TV series, prominent Italo production company Taodue had hired an alleged mafioso — apparently without knowing it — to handle casting of extras, and also for catering services and to scout locations in some of the city’s rougher quarters. Existence of a real connection between “Squadra Antimafia” and the Cosa Nostra emerged from a wiretap, published in newspaper Corwhich a mobster enthuses: “This TV series is great. We can give our friends work for at least five more years, because people really like it.”

The mob boss, in the published wiretap, stresses that it’s bad for business to try to extort money from the production. He adds that some “idiot” mafioso who did try to put the squeeze on Taodue “got the punishment he deserved.”

Meanwhile, the final episode of “Squadra Antimafia 3” — centered around an unlikely bond formed between a femme Mafia buster and her female Cosa Nostra counterpart — scored stellar ratings June 10 on Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5 station, with 6 million viewers, or about 26% audience share.The fourth season of “Squadra” is set to start shooting soon, with at least one change likely to be made on the crew.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Results

    TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' Finale Draws 10 Million Viewers

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not seen the season 14 finale of “America’s Got Talent.” The finale of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which saw blind, autistic singer Kodi Lee crowned the winner, drew almost exactly 10 million viewers for the Peacock on Wednesday night. Bolstered by a robust, velvety Cher performance, [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Programme Name: The Cry - TX:

    Brazil, U.K. Lead International Emmy Awards Nominations

    Brazil and the U.K. lead the pack in this year’s International Emmy Awards nominations, which span 21 countries across 11 categories. Titles and talent from Britain and Brazil will vie with other hopefuls for the trophy in five categories: drama, best performance by an actor, best performance by an actress, arts programming and documentary. Brazilian [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld photographed by Art Streiber

    Hailee Steinfeld Drops New Song From Apple TV Series ‘Dickinson’

    Oscar-nominated actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld dropped a new song on Thursday, “Afterlife (Dickinson)” from the upcoming Apple TV+ series “Dickinson,” in which she stars and serves as an executive producer. According to the announcement, Steinfeld drew lyrical inspiration from her character, Emily Dickinson, and the themes and ideas in many of her literary works. [...]

  • Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian out and

    Nielsen Now Tracks Celebs' Social-Media Touts of TV Shows

    Nielsen is providing a new lens into how celebrities and talent can boost the exposure of TV shows on social media. The measurement company announced that its Social Content Ratings solution now measures talent promotion of television programs across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to Nielsen, talent now drives nearly 60% of all social engagement [...]

  • Ree with Sticky Pork

    Food Network Strikes Three-Year Pact With Ree Drummond, 'The Pioneer Woman'

    Ree Drummond will be offering Food Network viewers more hearty family meals for the next three years. Drummond, who has hosted “The Pioneer Woman” on the Discovery-owned network since 2011, has signed a new deal with the outlet that calls for new episodes of her program. “Ree Drummond’s incredible following and popularity has led her [...]

  • David Zaslav

    Steven Spielberg's 'Why We Hate' Is More Timely Than Ever, David Zaslav Says

    The political state of the world today has made the upcoming docuseries “Why We Hate” relevant in a way that its producers, Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney, hardly expected when they began developing the project five years ago, Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said Thursday. “Things are much more of a challenge and hate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content