It has been 25 years since "The Sopranos" premiered on HBO.

Since its debut in January 1999, the series has lived on as a favorite among fans who watched the lives of the North Jersey mob family and its brooding patriarch unfold.

Home Box Office (HBO); Brillstein Entertainment Partners
Home Box Office (HBO); Brillstein Entertainment Partners
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In this age of content streaming, it also is a favorite for new generations of fans, and for good reason, according to Steven Gorelick, director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission.

“It is 100% an iconic series and a landmark series. 'The Sopranos' revolutionized television — I mean, I don’t think there’s any debate about it, he said.

“David Chase made no bones about the fact that New Jersey was probably the main character in the show and woven into every episode."

Real life Sopranos spots to visit in NJ

Since its debut 25 years ago, The Sopranos has lived on as a favorite among fans, old and new. While time has changed some of the New Jersey landscape, there's still plenty of spots that Tony visited, that you can, too.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

Accurate references to New Jersey

"The Sopranos" creator was raised in Clifton and North Caldwell, which shows in the nods throughout the series.

“The references were highly accurate for the most part, and the geography very accurate," Gorelick said, in referring to Chase. "He knows New Jersey so he took great pride in presenting the state that he knew — that he grew up in.”

Gorelick said in clearing locations for the first season of The Sopranos, they would explain that they were filming a crime drama, and would describe the upcoming action sequences to some confused business owners.

He said by the second season, “everyone knew what the show was and everyone wanted them to film on their property!”

Of course, Gorelick said, the series went much deeper than organized crime — it also delved into “loyalty and fidelity and familial relationships and mental health."

He said a lot of today’s shows for TV networks and streaming services alike are modeled on the groundbreaking methods of "The Sopranos," which followed the film-quality methods of mini-series instead of what until then was the traditional TV show approach.

As for the show's relationship to today’s “booming” business of shows and films shot in New Jersey, Gorelick said "I’d like to say it foreshadowed the future."

"I think filmmakers, as a rule, love to film in New Jersey because it has so many assets. We have a wonderful talent pool, we have an incredible variety of locations — the cooperation is terrific.”

Gorelick said in 2018, New Jersey added its tax credit program that has enhanced the state’s attractiveness as a location for shooting.

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