The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads. The series also features Tony's family members and Mafia associates in prominent roles and storylines, most notably his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and cousin and protégé Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). The many conflicts in his life lead to an on-off professional relationship with psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco).
The series premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on January 10, 1999 and ended its original run of six seasons and 86 episodes on June 10, 2007. The show has also been broadcast on A&E in the United States and internationally. The Sopranos was produced by HBO, Chase Films and Brad Grey Television. It was primarily filmed at Silvercup Studios, New York City and on location in New Jersey. The executive producers throughout the show's run were Chase, Brad Grey, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, Ilene S. Landress, Terence Winter, and Matthew Weiner. Chase also served as showrunner and head writer.
A major commercial and critical success, The Sopranos is the most financially successful series in the history of cable television and is acknowledged as one of the greatest television series of all time and a seminal work of fiction. The series is noted for its high level of quality in every aspect of production and is particularly recognized for its writing, its cinematic style, and the performances of its lead actors. The show is credited with bringing a greater level of artistry to the television medium and paving the way for many successful drama series that followed. It also won a multitude of awards, including twenty-one Emmys and five Golden Globes.
A staple of 2000s American popular culture, The Sopranos has been the subject of much parody, controversy, and analysis, and has spawned books, a video game, high-charting soundtrack albums, and a large amount of assorted merchandise. Several members of the show's cast and crew that were previously largely unknown to the public have had successful careers after The Sopranos.