“The Gangster Chronicles” is one of the top 10 greatest miniseries of all-time. The series premiered as a three-hour pilot movie on Thursday, February 12, 1981 on the NBC-TV network. Each show of the series was 60 minutes long and there were 12 episodes total.
It made its series premiere on Saturday, February 21, 1981 with the last show airing on Friday, May 8, 1981.
Possibly one of the all-time greatest Gangster/Mob films made exclusively for TV, the characters included Al Capone, Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Frank Costello, Giusseppe ‘Joe the Boss’ Masseria, Michael Lasker (more on him later), Salvatore Maranzano, Thomas ‘Three Finger Brown’ Lucchese and Vincent ‘Mad Dog’ Coll just to name a few of the most well know of these figureheads of that era.
Basically it was a history so to speak of “organized crime” in the 1920’s & 1930’s in America. Most of the series was based on the real original facts but they did also throw in some false information as well for a bigger viewership. When this film was made in late 1980 one of the biggest Mob Bosses by the name of Meyer Lansky was still alive so NBC decided to change his name in the series to Michael Lasker. The first few episodes of “The Gangster Chronicles” miniseries was narrated by actor E. G. Marshall. The series abruptly ends around 1932, which happened to be the same year as the repeal of Prohibition but saying nothing about Al Capone’s hold over Chicago for another 3 years.