How to watch and stream The Wire online

Everything you need to know about the award winning crime drama

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The Wire

The early 2000s were a good time for HBO, as well as popular TV series, The Sopranos the network boasted the ever-popular series The Wire which was drawing in scores of viewers each week.

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Starting in 2002, the show ran for five seasons until 2008 on HBO in the USA and is still popular over a decade later.

If you’re in the UK and wondering where to get your fix or are keen to discover the show for the first time, here’s how to watch The Wire now.

Where can I watch The Wire?

Amazon Prime Video users can currently watch the multi-award-winning show through their regular subscription.

Watch The Wire on Amazon Prime.

If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for a 30 day free Amazon Prime trial and start watching now.

The Wire is also available on NOW TV. If you’re not already subscribed, you can grab a 7 day Now TV free trial to test out the service and catch up on all the episodes. There are 60 to watch in total across the five seasons.

Episodes are also available to buy and watch on iTunes.

Alternatively, you can purchase the full DVD box set on Amazon.

Sadly, it’s bad news for Netflix users right now. The streaming service does not currently show The Wire, which may leave fans who are anxious to know what will happen next, feeling a little, well, wired.

HBO subscribers in the US can still catch all the episodes on its website via HBO Go.

What is The Wire about?

The Wire is a tense American crime drama that hosts a wealth of acting talent from a cast that includes the likes of Idris Elba, Michael K Williams and Dominic West.

Written by former police reporter David Simon, every series follows a different institution in Baltimore and examines its relationship with law enforcement covering everything from the drug trade, to the government, schools and the media.

How many seasons of The Wire are there?

There are five seasons in total, and 60 episodes. Each episode is around an hour long.

Who’s in the cast of The Wire?

The show received much acclaim for its surprising decision – as a major HBO series – cast names that before The Wire, frankly, no one had ever heard of.

Wendell Pierce (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Wendell Pierce
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Detective Moreland is played by Wendell Pierce, Detective McNulty by Dominic West, Cedric Daniels by Lance Reddick (who originally auditioned for Pierce’s role, and for that of the drug addict Bubbles), and Omar Little by Michael K. Williams.

Other Baltimore natives had cameos in the series including radio presenters Marc Steiner and Ed Norris.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Dominic West attends the premiere of
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Dominic West attends the premiere of “The Square” during the 55th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on September 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Many of the main actors of the show have gone on to become household names – for example Pierce recently starred as Teddy on CBS’s The Odd Couple, whilst West’s varied career has included Punisher: War Zone as John Carter, and he currently lays Dr Chris Cox in Sky One’s Brassic.

Where is The Wire set?

The series is set in Baltimore, Maryland, US – specifically, West Baltimore.

Where was The Wire filmed?

The series was filmed in and around the city of Baltimore itself, in both East and West.

Real locations in the city feature in the show, such as the church in which Bubbles attended AA meetings and actual streets where characters are found dead, rather than on sets built to mimic the city. It was the McCulloh Homes housing projects in West Baltimore where much of season 1 was filmed, particularly during scenes around drug dealing.

If you’ve you a few hours (and a couple of quid for the plane fare) you can take the full The Wire Tour driving tour here.

Why was The Wire cancelled?

HBO was remained pretty tight-lipped about why we had to say goodbye to The Wire in 2008.

The Guardian argues the show left our screens because “daftness started creeping in” and that it ended before it completely “lost its spark”, which would have been a shame for such an enduringly popular show.

What to watch after The Wire?

If you haven’t already watched The Sopranos (we’ve mentioned a few times…) then we’d recommend that you try that next – we have a guide to how to watch The Sopranos for you. The six season show is considered one of the best TV series of all time – on par with The Wire.

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There’s also HBO’s True Detective to try out too.