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HBO's ''The Wire'' releases original shorts

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Three prequel shorts related to HBO’s critically-acclaimed series The Wire are getting a multiplatform launch ahead of upcoming fifth season, which kicks off Jan. 6. The two- to three-minute shorts, produced by Wire creator David Simon, explore backstory for the characters Prop Joe, Omar, and William ”Bunk” Moreland. The shorts are currently available for free streaming on Amazon’s page for the series’ fourth season DVD set. Starting on Jan. 15, they will be made available on HBO On Demand, HBO.com, podcasts, and affiliate portals. They also will air at the end of each fifth-season episode, starting with the third installment. HBO has previously created on-demand extras for its series Entourage and Big Love. (Hollywood Reporter)