Moonshiners (TV series)

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Narrated byJeremy Schwartz
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes163 (list of episodes)
Running time42 minutes
Original networkDiscovery Channel
Original releaseDecember 6, 2011 (2011-12-06) –
Related shows
External links

Moonshiners is an American docudrama television series on the Discovery Channel produced by Magilla Entertainment that dramatizes the life of people who produce (illegal) moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The series dramatizes their liquor production efforts, law-evading techniques and life.[1] There have been claims by local officials that the show is not what it portrays to be. Virginia authorities have stated that no illegal liquor is actually being produced by the people depicted in the show. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) said in March 2012 that, "If illegal activity was actually taking place, the Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement would have taken action."[2] They also said that they had requested for the producers to add a disclaimer to clarify that the show was only a dramatization, "but the request was overlooked",[2] and the show's producers, Magilla Entertainment, have stated their documentary content is real.[3]

Portions of the show that feature Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton were taken from a documentary film by Neal Hutcheson. Hutcheson's documentary was filmed in 2002 and released the same year with the title This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I'll Ever Make.[4] In 2008, a version of the documentary that was edited for television was broadcast on PBS[citation needed] and the Documentary Channel[5] with the title The Last One, and it received a Southeast Emmy Award in 2009.[6] Sutton was arrested in 2007 by ATF agents in Cocke County, Tennessee (led by Jim Cavanaugh of Waco siege fame) for illegally distilling liquor and possession of a handgun by a felon, and was sentenced to eighteen months in jail in 2009. He subsequently committed suicide, apparently to avoid serving the federal prison term, and because he had been diagnosed with cancer.[7]

The show's first season premiered on December 6, 2011, and its second season premiered on November 7, 2012. Season 3 premiered on November 3, 2013. Season 4 premiered on November 4, 2014.[8] Season 5's premiere date was November 17, 2015. Season 8 premiered on January 2, 2019.[9]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedAverage rating
First airedLast aired
16 + 1December 6, 2011 (2011-12-06)January 4, 2012 (2012-01-04)2.76
212 + 3November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07)January 30, 2013 (2013-01-30)3.03
313 + 7November 5, 2013 (2013-11-05)February 4, 2014 (2014-02-04)2.53
414 + 10November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03)2.00
517 + 1November 17, 2015 (2015-11-17)March 8, 2016 (2016-03-08)1.85
617 + 5November 15, 2016 (2016-11-15)March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)TBA
718 + 12November 15, 2017 (2017-11-15)March 27, 2018 (2018-03-27)1.59
818 + 9December 11, 2018 (2018-12-11)April 3, 2019 (2019-04-03)TBA


Key:      indicates a season in which a person appeared

Cast Role Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Season 8
Tim Moonshiner
Tickle Moonshiner
Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton Moonshiner
Jesse Law Enforcement Agent
Jeff Moonshiner
Mark Moonshiner
Lance Moonshiner
Jim Tom Moonshiner
Josh Moonshiner
Bill Moonshiner
Howard Moonshiner
Chuck Deputy Sheriff
Mike Moonshiner
Tweedy Moonshiner
Chico Moonshiner
Tyler Moonshiner
Wayne Moonshiner
Darlene Moonshiner
Chris Thompson Moonshiner
Digger Moonshiner
David Moonshiner
Patti Moonshiner
Big Chuck Moonshiner



In May 2013, it was announced that, in addition to renewing Moonshiners for a third season, Discovery Channel would be purchasing a spinoff about Steven Ray Tickle, to be called Tickle.[10] The series premiered on August 13, 2013.[11]

Moonshiners: Whiskey Business[edit]

In February 2019, a new series titled Moonshiners: Whiskey Business was announced through Discovery Channel. The spinoff sprouted from a Moonshiners season seven special titled Whiskey Business, in which Tim Smith travels to help out struggling Missouri Ridge Distillery and keep them in business. The special proved successful and an entire season started airing March 13 2019.[12]

Theme song and introduction sequence[edit]

The theme song for the show is Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". The intro montage introduces the cast members, and also shows some of the difficulties they face while making the moonshine. Since season 5, the theme song has been Bleeding Fingers' "Livin' Outside the Law".[13]


  1. ^ "About Show : Moonshiners : Discovery Channel". Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Virginia Authorities Claim Show 'Moonshiners' Doesn't Show Illegal Moonshining". Fox News. December 30, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Meagan Murphy. "'Moonshiners' Producer Stands By Show's Accuracy in Face of State's Claim Show Is a Hoax". Fox News.
  4. ^ "The Last One – Popcorn Sutton Documentary – Special Edition (2012)". Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  5. ^ The Last One – Popcorn and moonshine in North Carolina, The News & Observer, December 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Popcorn Sutton Documentary Wins Emmy Award Archived February 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, The News & Observer, June 30, 2009.
  7. ^ Tom Landess (June 1, 2009). "Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, R.I.P." Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Moonshines: Discovery Channel". Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "Mark & Digger Facebook"
  10. ^ "Discovery Renews 'Moonshiners', Adds Spinoff 'Tickle' (Exclusive)". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "New series Tickle premiers on Discovery Channel August 13 at 10pm". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Moonshiners: Whiskey Business". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  13. ^ "Livin' Outside The Law - Moonshiners". Discovery. Retrieved April 22, 2018.

External links[edit]