The Wire co-creators Ed Burns and David Simon have said they believe the show would not have been greenlit today.
Reflecting on 20 years of the beloved HBO crime drama, the pair spoke to The New York Times about the legacy of The Wire.
Asked by the publication whether there would be a chance to greenlight the show if it was being made today, Burns said: “No, definitely not. HBO was going up the ladder at the time.
“They didn’t understand The Wire until the fourth season. In fact, they were thinking about canceling it after three. We caught that moment where networks were thinking, ‘Oh, we need a show for this group of people.'”
He went on: “But now, it’s got to be Game of Thrones. It’s got to be big. It’s got to be disconnected from stepping on anybody’s toes. I’ve watched a couple of the limited series on HBO, and they’re good shows, but they’re not cutting new paths. They are whodunits or these rich women bickering among themselves in a town. I don’t see anybody saying, ‘Hey, that’s a really great show.'”
Simon agreed, saying they would not be commissioned as they did not “attend to the idea of diversity in the writers’ room.”
He added: “Why were we inattentive? Because it was so organic to what I’d covered and what Ed had policed. If I had it to do over again, I would have to look at [the diversity of the creative team] in the same way that I looked at later productions.”
At the end of last year, The Wire was named the best TV show of this century in a critics’ poll conducted by the BBC.