HBO's New York Premiere of "The Wire"

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty

Author, journalist and television writer and producer David Simon is having a milestone week.

Not only did the last episode of his critically acclaimed new HBO limited series ‘We Own This City‘ air its sixth and final episode on Monday (May 30), the show most people know and love him for is celebrating its’ 20th anniversary today.

That’s right…20 years ago today, the cult classic crime drama that captured all of our hearts aired on TV screens across the world for the first time. ‘The Wire‘ chronicled the issues of a post-industrial American city from the drug infested streets of West Baltimore to the corruption of City Hall. The award-winning series captured the moral dilemmas of both the police and the people they were after in a way never before seen on television.

Each season, ‘The Wire’ introduced a different institution of the city and its relationship to law enforcement. The five subjects included the illegal drug trade, the port system, the city government and bureaucracy, education and schools, and the print news medium. The series was praised for it’s realistic depiction of inner-city life, its uncommonly accurate exploration of society and politics and its literary themes. Although the ratings didn’t reflect it at the time, ‘The Wire’ is now often considered one of the greatest television series of all time.

The larger than life characters that comprised the cast of the show became cultural icons as fans watched their compelling storylines play out week to week. The legendary series catapulted the careers of many renowned actors including Dominic West, Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams (Rest In Peace), Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce and Deidre Lovejoy to name a few. A good number of the actors and crew members that worked on ‘The Wire’ also previously worked with Simon on the preceding HBO miniseries ‘The Corner.’ Simon continues that close knit family environment still to this day. A host of cast and crew members who worked on his groundbreaking show were tapped to work on Simon and George Pelecanos’ ‘We Own This City.’

The cultural phenomenon known as ‘The Wire’ will forever be marked in the history books. The show is as relevant today as it was when it premiered 20 years ago. To celebrate the milestone, test your knowledge and fandom of the show by taking our quiz below.