Mob Wives is a VH1 reality show created by Jennifer Granziano of JustJenn Productions, which debuted in the spring of 2011. The show is based on the lives of family members and wives (both past and present) of notorious mobsters, hit men or those somehow connected with the mafia.
Many of the ladies’ husbands, fathers and relatives are currently in, or have previously served time, in prison. The women themselves are self proclaimed drama queens who are often abrasive and are very opinionated.
Mob Wives: Season One premiered April 17, 2011 and was well received by fans. 2.2 million people tuned into it’s debut episode and Mob Wives ranked the #1 non-sports related cable program in the Sunday night timeslot for women aged 18-49. It renewed for a second season almost immediately.
Critics haven’t had very favorable reviews despite fan reception, Gawker wrote, “This seems like a terrible idea for a reality show! Would anyone watch a show called Mass Murderers’ Wives?”
Family members of the victims killed by some of the mobsters mentioned on the show have shown extreme disdain for it, saying it glamorizes the mobster lifestyle. Some mobster’s aren’t impressed either; in fact Renee Graziano’s father refuses to speak with her for appearing on the show.
Season Two’s premiere episode (January 2012) was watched by 1.4 million fans and helped launch VH1 into the #1 cable network among women aged 18-34.
Mob Wives has been renewed for a third season and is set to begin filming in August 2012 and will air January 2013.
The Season One cast included Renee Graziano, Karen Gravano, Drita D’avanzo and Carla Facciolo.
In Season Two we were introduced to Angela”Big Ang Raiola, and in Season Three Gina Marie Facciolo, Adriana Reina and Vanessa Gavinno all joined the cast.
Two spin-offs of Mob Wives have since emerged, Mob Wives: Chicago and Big Ang, both airing on VH1.
Mob Wives: Chicago stars Nora Schweihs, Renee Fecarotta Russo, Pia Rizza, Christina Scoleri and Leah DeSimone, all women connected to the men of “The Outfit” or the Chicago mafia. The show debuted on June 10, 2012.
Big Ang stars Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, her sister and two best friends, son and her husband. Not to mention her dog, Louie. The 30-minute show debuted on July 8, 2012.
Mob Wives is produced by The Weinstein Company, Electus and Left/Right with Electus International distributing the series internationally. Shelly Tatro, Kari McFarland, Rick Hankey and Jeff Olde are the show’s executive producers.