The evidently popular television series Gangland continues to run. And, at least two upcoming episodes will be about major American motorcycle clubs.
It has already been widely reported that one of those episodes will star the Pagans Motorcycle Club. The Pagans are well known, respectfully regarded and are the dominant three-piece patch club in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
An author named John Hall recently reminisced about raising hell with the club in the mid-sixties. And, a larger than life Pagans’ chapter president named Steve “Gorilla” Montevergine could not stay out of the Philly papers a decade or so ago. But, in general the Pagans have conducted their club business with great discretion. So, it is surprising to learn that they will soon be featured on international TV.
Last week, scores of cops who ride with the American Lawmen Motorcycle Club reenacted a 2002 brawl between members of the Pagans and members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club on Long Island. Seventy Pagans were arrested after that incident.
The “reenactment” was staged at an American Legion Hall in Plainfield, Illinois.
Gangland is a “reality-based” crime series that airs on the History Channel in the United States. In the past 15 months the series has broadcast shows that centered on five motorcycle clubs: The American Outlaws Association, the Mongols Motorcycle Club, the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, the Warlocks Motorcycle Club in Florida and the Hells Angels
Gangland’s website explains the premise for the show: “They rob, kill, and terrorize, and they’ve left their bloody mark on American history. This is the world of Gangland….With exclusive interviews and rarely seen footage, this is a raw look at life inside these gangs-from those who live it and the agencies that are working to stop them.”
Who Is Gangland
The actual producers of Gangland carefully hide their identities.
Producers, writers and directors go uncredited on the show. Gangland.com is a nest of pages on the History Channel website. Ganglandproducers is a dead web site. Ganglandproducer, without the “s” is an “under-construction” site used to forward emails to a confidential web address.
The History Channel is the official producer of Gangland. The History Channel is a wholly owned subsidiary of a company called Arts and Entertainment Television Networks (AETN.) AETN in turn, is a joint venture of the Hearst Corporation and the Walt Disney Company. NBC has a minority share in AETN.
AETN describes itself as, “an award-winning, international media company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television programming, to home videos/DVDs and music CDs, to Web sites, as well as supporting nationwide educational initiatives.”
People who agree to appear on Gangland sign agreements with the History Channel but they are interviewed by and photographed by freelancers.
The people actually responsible for Gangland are probably the owners of one of several “realty” productions companies in Los Angeles that produce numerous shows for AETN.
Typical of these companies is one called Original Productions on Verdugo Avenue in Burbank. The company was founded by Thom, Leslie and Tim Beers and has produced numerous popular “reality shows” including “Deadliest Catch,” “Monster Garage” and “Ice Road Truckers.”
Which is certainly not to say that Original Productions actually is responsible for Gangland.
The Pagans episode of Gangland will air in February or March 2009.