Al Capone is being brought back to life in the world of reality television as his distant relatives are starring in a new show based around their misadventures running the family pizzeria.
The show, which is set to air for ten episodes this fall, will be simply called 'The Capones' and is based around the new 'boss', Dominic Capone who is the great-nephew of the notorious gangster.
Though the connection is distant- one of Dominic's parents was Al Capone's niece or nephew- the show creators are piling on the Italian stereotypes in order to strengthen the family ties.
In the family: The stars of the upcoming reality series claim to be distant relatives of infamous mobster Al Capone, seen here signing a bail bond in 1925
The characters have been given gangster-style nick names like 'Madness Cherry Lips', 'Toupee Lou' and 'Sausage' in an effort to harken back to the prohibition era when Al's bootlegging crime ring flourished.
In the press release from REELZCHANNEL about the show, they describe the current Capone gang as being a 'drama-filled, lasagna-loving dysfunctional family'.
'Each episode follows Dom Capone “The Boss” as he runs this unkempt crew at his Italian eatery with an iron fist,' the release says.
Laying on the criminal allusions, the promotional shot of the family is a clear imitation of The Sopranos.
Now and then: Dominic Capone (left) is the 'boss' of the series, and he is the great-nephew of Al Capone (right)
It goes on to describe 'meddling' family matriarch Dawn as 'the only one who keeps this loud-mouthed and fiery boss in check'.
The name of Dominic's father has not been revealed, but either he or Dawn is the nephew of niece of the infamous gangster who ruled Chicago's underworld in much of the 1920s and 1930s. Al Capone was the eldest of nine children, so one of his eight younger siblings is the parent of one of Dominic's parents.
It also comes as little surprise that Dominic is an aspiring actor, and his experience includes playing a mobster in rapper R. Kelly's 'Trapped in the Closet' videos as well as a film called 'The Real Untouchables' where he played his great uncle.
While the prospect of stirring up old drama from yesteryear may seem like a good idea to television executives, Italian American groups have problems with the bad connotations that it is creating for the old country.
'These shows throw functional illiterates in front of a television and celebrate things we shouldn't be celebrating,' Lou Rago of The Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago told the local NBC affiliate.
'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.'
The show will air in the fall of this year, though the specific release date has not been announced.
Capone Descendants Sign on For Reality Show
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 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 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 seaso