- 1 Season
American Gypsies is a documentary series following the lives of a Romani, or Gypsy family in New York's Manhattan. The nine episode first season was commissioned by the National Geographic Channel and produced by Stick Figure Productions; the reality TV documentary has proved controversial because of its representation of the Romani family. First airing in 2012 after a long time in preproduction American Gypsies was pitched to a large number of networks by co-executive producer Ralph Macchio before National Geographic commissioned a nine episode season. The Reality TV series follows the Johns family, who run a fortune telling business in Manhattan; Increased competition in the family's business brings tension as the family attempt to keep growing their business. Throughout the season the family also fights to maintain their Romani culture and traditions alive in the face of living amongst the many vices and temptations of Manhattan. American Gypsies was commissioned on the back of a successful group of reality shows based on the lives of Romani people around the world. In the U.K. the Channel 4 series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding began the trend for Romani culture based shows. Following the success of the British show on the TLC network a U.S. based version of the show was produced and shown on TLC. National Geographic's American Gypsies series has faced criticism in both the U.S. and U.K. because of the portrayal of the John's family, headed by Tina and Bob Johns. Critics claim the series promotes stereotypes of the Gypsy culture and does not provide a realistic view of life in the Romani culture.