Drug Dealers Talk About The Wire on the Real Wire

Wendell Pierce, who plays the lovable drunk detective William “Bunk” Moreland on HBO’s The Wire, told Reuters that getting props from drug dealers who watch the show was “the highest compliment.” According to actual police detectives who listen in on real phone taps for drug cases, “the chatter went dead during the show’s hour-long broadcast.”

“The highest compliment came when a police officer told me on the set, ‘They talk about you guys on the real wire,'” Pierce said in a recent Reuters interview.

Such rapt attention from the show’s subjects underscores the authenticity of “The Wire,” which melds crime drama with social commentary and returns on Sunday January 6 for its fifth and final season.