In December 2007, during the hiatus between Seasons Four and Five, HBO Go released three short prequels called "The Wire: The Chronicles".
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The Wire: The Chronicles - The Target (The Wire) - Netflix
“The Target” is the pilot episode of the HBO original series The Wire. The episode was written by David Simon from a story by Simon and Ed Burns and was directed by Clark Johnson. It originally aired on June 2, 2002. The title refers to Detective Jimmy McNulty setting his sights on Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale's drug-dealing organization as the target of an investigation.
The Wire: The Chronicles - Non-fictional elements - Netflix
Both the Snot Boogie murder story and Bunk's tale of shooting a mouse in his kitchen are anecdotes from Simon's time researching his non-fiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (1991). A real police officer named Jay Landsman is also a character in the book. Reviewers have noted the pilot's grounding in the non-fiction political climate. The San Francisco Chronicle commented that the show had forecast a reduction of the FBI's attention to the War on Drugs because of the competing War on Terror. Simon confirms that the pilot was shot only a few weeks after 9/11, but that the writers correctly predicted what the FBI's response would be.
The Wire: The Chronicles - References - Netflix