Stories of the American mafia have led to some of the most celebrated big and small screen efforts of all time. The likes of director Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, and HBO's seminal series The Sopranos are still held up today as not only definitive takes on the infamous criminal empire, but as perfect examples of their respective crafts. Now, Showtime is hoping to join them by developing an hour-long drama series of its own about the mafia in America, finding the perfect writers to bring it to life.

The currently untitled show will be penned by the Emmy award winning scribe behind The Sopranos, Terence Winter, who is teaming up with Goodfellas and Casino writer Nicholas Pileggi to bring the mafia-based show to the small screen. The series will be produced by one of the biggest producers in Hollywood, Brian Grazer. One half of the powerhouse team behind the prolific production company Imagine Entertainment (with the other half being actor and director Ron Howard), Grazer's previous producing credits include the likes of A Beautiful Mind, American Made, American Gangster, and Apollo 13, as well as series' such as Arrested Development and Empire along with many, many more highly-regarded projects on both the big and small screens.

Meanwhile, writer Terence Winter is best known for his work on The Sopranos, which centred on mob boss Tony Soprano (played by the late, great James Gandolfini), an Italian-American mafia head based in New Jersey, who struggles to manage his family and criminal life and confides his affairs to his psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi. The show ran for six seasons and is often heralded as the beginning of the small screen creative revolution that continues to this day. Winter is also behind other such works as the critically acclaimed Prohibition era-set series Boardwalk Empire, and director Martin Scorsese's Oscar nominated biographical black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street.

Winter's fellow writer Nicholas Pileggi is also no stranger to telling stories of the criminal underworld, having penned the likes of the mafia classic Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese, which chronicled the experience of Henry Hill, who, along with his friends Jimmy and Tommy, begins the climb from being a petty criminal to a gangster on the mean streets of New York. Pileggi collaborated with Scorsese again a few years later, writing the script for the crime epic Casino. The Showtime series is inspired by Pileggi's in-depth chronology of organized crime in America, which is also the history of corruption in America, as seen through the eyes of the mafia's First Family.

Pileggi began his writing career as a journalist, writing the books Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family and Martin Scorsese for the gangster dramas Goodfellas and Casino respectively. He has spent most of his professional life deeply immersed in the inner-workings of the mob, and, whilst it may seem that there is nothing new to bring to the mafia genre, if anyone can find a unique take it is Pileggi.

This news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.

Jon Fuge at TVweb
Jon Fuge