Capone Descendants Sign on For Reality Show

Apr 12, 2013 1455

Producers are hoping a reality show featuring the descendent's of gangster Al Capone will be a hit.

Ten episodes of "The Capones" will air on ReelzChannel in fall 2013, according to a news release.

The show follows the "drama-filled, lasagna-loving dysfunctional family" as they run the family business -- Capone's Restaurant and Pizzeria in the Chicago suburb of Lombard.

The show features the great-nephew of the infamous mobster, Dominic Capone, who co-owns the restaurant with his "meddling" mother, Dawn, along with additional characters with nicknames like "Madness Cherry Lips," "Sausage" and an eccentric uncle referred to as "Toupee Lou."

Dominic Capone also works as an actor, portraying Al Capone in a 2001 movie called "The Real Untouchables" and also appearing in R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet video series.

But The Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago is not a fan of the new show.

"It's unfortunate that this many years after Mr. Capone's death they would try to cash in on his death," the organization's president, Lou Rago, told Chicago's NBC 5. "These shows throw functional illiterates in front of a television and celebrate things we shouldn't be celebrating. There's not another ethnic group that they would allow this to go on TV, and I'm sure this will resurrect some nuances about Italian culture that are so stereotypical that it's beyond laughable anymore."

ReelzChannel's PR manager Aaron Martinez says the series focuses on the characters' business and family life, and the fact that they're Italian is incidental.

"They just happen to be a really intense cast of characters. There's lots of tension between the mom and girlfriend and we're just focusing on the family," Martinez said. "They run an Italian restaurant and they're an Italian family with Italian heritage, but that's not what the show is about."

It's not the first time in recent memory a TV show has delved into Chicago's colorful mob history.

"Mob Wives Chicago" aired on VH1 last year, but was canceled after one season.

By Marcus Riley / NBC New York

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