(Showtime, 2006-'09) drama series

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Originally to be called Southie, then The Hill, Brotherhood is the first television series to be filmed entirely in Rhode Island. Shooting for the pilot began in Providence on August 30, 2004. Once the show was picked up, the remainder of the season was filmed between July 6 and November 16, 2005.

The number of recognizable locations and references used in this series is unprecedented in Rhode Island television history. It was said by at least one commentator that Providence amounted to a separate and distinct character in the NBC series Providence, but if the city was a bit player on that show, it's a headliner in Brotherhood, and the part it's playing is a dark one. Many have complained that it's just wrong that the show should be about Irish politicians and gangsters on "The Hill," when locals all know that Providence's Federal Hill was the home of the New England Italian Mafia for several decades. But we think grousing that Providence is playing against type is like complaining that Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't really an indestructible assassin robot from the future. Besides, the other location option was Toronto, so why not suspend your disbelief and enjoy the show?

The story centers around two Irish-American brothers, Tommy and Michael Caffee (Jason Clarke and Jason Isaacs)—one an up-and-coming politician, the other an ambitious gangster. The parallels with real-life brothers William and James J. "Whitey" Bulger of Boston are inescapable. As different as their life paths may seem, the Showtime series paints the brothers as very much alike, with each displaying varying shades of good and evil behavior.

A sneak preview of the pilot episode was given at Avon Cinema on Thayer Street on June 26, 2006, and the first season of the show began its run on Showtime on July 7, 2006. As of October 2006 (end of season one) it was estimated that Brotherhood had brought as much as $40 million to the local economy.

So much of Brotherhood's world is intertwined with the real world of Providence and Rhode Island that we decided to give it its own page. Visit The World of Brotherhood and explore.

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