Can’t get enough of We Own This City? Well, guess what—there’s a weekly companion podcast produced by HBO that takes you behind the scenes of this gripping limited series. Kary Antholis, our founder and an Executive Producer of We Own This City, is also a Consulting Producer for the podcast.
Over the course of six episodes, host D. Watkins shares his experiences in and out of the writers’ room and speaks to the people who brought this story to the screen, including executive producers George Pelecanos and David Simon, actor Jon Bernthal, actor Wunmi Mosaku, and director Reinaldo Marcus Green. Podcast episodes are available each week right after the latest episode of We Own This City on HBO and HBO Max. You can find links to each episode published so far below!
“Part One” (with Jon Bernthal) – Host D. Watkins shares his story of how he went from the streets to the We Own This City writers’ room. The show’s executive producers George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce) share some behind-the-scenes thoughts on the first episode of the series. And actor Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Punisher), who plays the notorious Wayne Jenkins, joins Watkins to discuss the war on drugs, how working on the show has changed his perspective on policing, and how he immersed himself in Jenkins’ world to nail the character.
“Part Two” (with Young Moose & Josh Charles) – Host D. Watkins discusses the infamously brutal Baltimore cop, Daniel Hersl. The show’s executive producers George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce) discuss Hersl’s origin story and reputation. Rapper Young Moose talks to Watkins about the toll Hersl’s policing took on him as a young Black man in Baltimore and how Hersl’s name landed in one of his songs. Actor Josh Charles (The Good Wife, In Treatment) joins Watkins to discuss the research and preparation he did to bring Hersl’s character to the screen in episode two and what he hopes fans might take away from the series.
“Part Three” (with Wunmi Mosaku & Justin Fenton) – Host D. Watkins discusses episode three, which focuses on how policing affects the lives of everyday Baltimoreans. The show’s executive producers George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce) discuss creating the character of Nicole Steele and the impact of consent decrees on policing in Baltimore. Actor Wunmi Mosaku talks to Watkins about what she learned from playing Nicole Steele and how American policing looks different than it does where she grew up. Next, journalist Justin Fenton (author of We Own This City, the book that inspired the show) joins Watkins to discuss what he has learned throughout his career reporting on police in Baltimore and the stories behind some of the officers who inspired characters in the show.
“Part Four” (with Dagmara Dominczik & Baynard Woods) – Host D. Watkins discusses episode four, which focuses on the corruption of Wayne Jenkins and the ripple effect of the Gun Trace Task Force on Baltimore’s civilians. The show’s executive producers George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce), discuss the aftermath of the Freddie Gray case and the corrupt cops who remained on the force. Actor Dagmara Domińczyk talks to Watkins about her preparation to play FBI agent Erika Jensen and how her family’s history as refugees informed her thoughts about law enforcement. Next, journalist Baynard Woods (I Got a Monster: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Corrupt Police Squad) joins Watkins to discuss what he saw covering the Freddie Gray trial and how it has shaped his understanding of police corruption in Baltimore, in addition to journalism’s familiar blind spots in covering criminal justice.
“Part Five” (with Darrell Britt-Gibson, Nina K. Noble, Thea Washington, and Reinaldo Marcus Green) – D. Watkins discusses episode five, which explores how the thin blue line of police loyalty shields some of Baltimore’s dirtiest cops from the consequences of their actions. The show’s executive producers, George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce), comment on the inefficiency and violence of modern policing and the war on drugs. Watkins talks to Darrell Brett-Gibson about how his upbringing affected his opinion of police officers and how he came around to playing Jemell Rayam. Next, executive director Nina K. Noble and casting director Thea Washington discuss some behind-the-scenes details of shooting in Baltimore and building a cast and crew that includes many Baltimore locals. Then, director Reinaldo Marcus Green talks about this show being a “cousin” of The Wire and the responsibility of getting such a sensitive story right.
“Part Six” (with Jamie Hector and David Simon) – D. Watkins shares his thoughts on the We Own This City finale. First, the show’s executive producer George Pelecanos (The Deuce), walks through theories about Sean Suiter’s death and how the team chose to depict it. Next, Watkins interviews Jamie Hector about playing Suiter and what Suiter’s story teaches us about corruption in the Baltimore Police Department. Then, David Simon discusses returning to Baltimore so many years after creating The Wire and the city’s addiction to the drug war.