“The Sopranos” is turning 25 by way of a 21st century social media phenom: TikTok.
The iconic HBO series celebrates its 25th anniversary with the “Sopranos in :25” campaign on TikTok, with recaps of every episode launching in 25-second snippets.
To further honor the series, streaming platform Max released never-before-seen deleted footage and five hours of behind-the-scenes content. Free episodes of the series will also be available through on-demand cable platforms with select providers, and the first two episodes of the show are streaming for free on Max’s YouTube page. The official “The Sopranos” anniversary date is January 10.
“‘The Sopranos’ left an indelible imprint on the global entertainment culture and was instrumental in defining HBO as the destination for groundbreaking, award-winning programming,” Zach Enterlin, executive VP of brand, content and creative of streaming marketing for HBO and Max said in a press statement. “The many ways we will honor this 25-year milestone will allow fans to celebrate the Soprano legacy and pay tribute to the characters that have had such an enduring impact.”
“The Sopranos” follows mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) as he rises through the New Jersey Italian mafia ranks and balances his family life with his mental health. Lorraine Bracco starred as Tony’s therapist Dr. Melfi, with Edie Falco as his wife Carmella. Michael Imperioli played Tony’s nephew and confidante Christopher.
The series debuted in 1999 on HBO and ran for eight seasons across 86 episodes. The controversial series finale was later clarified by creator David Chase, cementing Tony’s fate. A 2021 prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark” showed a young Tony (Michael Gandolfini) navigating coming of age in the wake of Dickie Moltisanti’s (Alessandro Nivola) legacy.
Actor Imperioli revealed he is set to reunite with “The Sopranos” showrunner Chase and former co-star and “Talking Sopranos” podcast co-host Steve Schirripa for an upcoming mystery film. Imperioli and Chase are co-writing the feature.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys said in 2022 that Chase has no plans to revisit “The Sopranos” in TV form. “I don’t think David has any interest in revisiting ‘The Sopranos.’ And I would agree with him,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a perfect series that I don’t think needs revisiting. But we’ll see what he wants to do next.”
“The Sopranos” isn’t the first IP to land on TikTok: Paramount recently uploaded all 97 minutes of “Mean Girls” for fans on 2023 National Mean Girls Day in honor of its (almost) 20th anniversary. The 2004 film landed a musical remake starring Reneé Rapp. It opens January 12.
American University Kogod School of Business adjunct professor Bob Mitchell told IndieWire that it’s been a “long time coming” for studios to share content on TikTok. “Now it comes to the time where in order to build greater engagement and to create that community, you have to ‘give away’ your content,” Mitchell said.
And with “The Sopranos” finding a second (or third, or fourth) life by way of memes, TikTok reaction snippets, and GIFs, it’s only natural for Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO to own their own IP on TikTok, especially for the series’ big birthday.