American Gangster is a documentary television series, which airs on BET. The show features some of black America‘s most infamous and powerful gangsters and is narrated by Ving Rhames. The series premiere, on November 28, 2006, amassed around one million viewers. The first season ended on January 9, 2007, and comprised 6 episodes; a season 1 DVD was released on October 23, 2007.
The second season aired October 3, 2007; a season 2 DVD was released on June 10, 2008. In April 2009, A&E Networks purchased the rights to air seasons 1–3 on their networks. They can be seen primarily on the Bio Channel and the flagship A&E Channel. They can also be seen on A&E’s Crime and Investigation Network.
This documentary series profiles some of the most infamous crime figures in black America, using archival footage, photographs and interviews with people familiar with the cases — police officials, defense attorneys and former associates of the criminal in question. Profiles include Crips co-founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams, crack king “Freeway” Ricky Ross, heroin kingpin Leroy “Nicky” Barnes, and cop killer Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols.