- 6 Seasons
Much in the same vein as the Bravo Real Housewives franchise, VH1 developed its Mob Wives series. Debuting on April 17, 2011, the concept for the show is credited to Jennifer "Jenn" Graziano, sister of Renee Graziano, one of the featured women on the show. The show follows the exploits of six women in Staten Island who are connected to various alleged mob associates, some of whom were or became incarcerated during the filming of the show or are deceased. The cast for Season One included: Renee Graziano, daughter of Anthony Graziano, who was incarcerated during Season Two of the show, after her ex-husband Hector Junior Pagan turned state's evidence on him. As a result, Renee suffered a breakdown on camera. She was considering a reconciliation with ex-husband Pagan who returned to jail after a conviction for heading a marijuana distribution ring. Her 16 year old son, A. J., sometimes appears on the show. The 41 year old self-described drama queen began Jail Mail, a greeting card company and has worked on styling clothing for music videos. Drita D'Avanzo is a freelance make-up artist. Her Albanian ancestry has cast her as an outsider at times. Her husband, Lee D'Avanzo, was imprisoned for a second bank robbery. Their daughters, Aleeya, 9 and Gizelle, 3 are sometimes featured on the show. Drita filed for divorce during filming after finding out that her 32 year old husband fathered a child with another woman during their marriage. D'Avanzo is the son of the late Lewis D'Avanzo, a cousin of Rudolph Giuliani. Prior to his marriage to Drita, he had a long term relationship with Karen Gravano, also a Mob Wives cast member. Carla Facciolo was married to Joseph Ferragamo, a stockbroker convicted of activity connected to an alleged house stock scandal. Carla is a stay at home mother and juice company representative with twins. Upon her ex-husband's release, she allowed him to move back into the home for their children. It also appeared as though they may have a reconciliation, although Ferragamo made no secret that he was dating several younger women. Karen Gravano is Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano's daughter, a former underboss who turned state's evidence on the Gambino crime family. As a federal informant, he was largely responsible for the conviction of John Gotti and other mob associates. The details of her seven year relationship with Lee D'Avanzo, Drita's ex-husband, have been released in her Mob Wives, book, which instantly became a New York Times best seller. Season Two of the Mob Wives show debuted on January 1, 2012, including two new cast members: Ramona Rizzo, granddaughter of Benjamin Lefty Guns Ruggiero, a former mobster that was played by Al Pacino in the movie Donnie Brasco. Karen Gravano's childhood friend was married for a year to a man of Jordanian heritage, with which she had four children: Giovanni, Melina, Anissa and Jenny. Angela "Big Ang" Raiola is captain of Genovese crime family, the deceased Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi's niece. The single mother of two had a long history of mob connected boyfriends and has an estranged husband whom has never been seen on the show. With two sisters and four brothers, Big Ang runs the Drunken Monkey bar, which is being featured on her own spin-off show, Big Ang, which premiered on July 8, 2012 on VH1. Season Three began filming in July 2012, scheduled to debut in late December 2012 or early January of 2013. Joining the cast of Season Three will be: Sister of cast member Carla Facciolo, Gina Marie Facciolo. Her husband was imprisoned as the result of a mob association. Adriana Reina, granddaughter of Lucchese crime family's Gaetano "Tommy" Reina. Rizzo and D'Avanzo were her childhood friends. The Mob Wives show's ratings were so high that it spawned a spin-off show featuring mafia connected women from the midwest region. Just as the original Mob Wives began filming for Season Three, Mob Wives: Chicago, began airing on June 10, 2012 on VH1.