With The Sopranos, HBO set a precedent for the type of show that could be broadcast into American homes. First broadcast in 1999, The Sopranos was followed by other gritty HBO productions like The Wire. As The New York Times points out, the only "magic" that allowed these new, darker dramas to achieve what they did was creative freedom. As HBO makes its money through subscriptions and syndication, writers were unshackled from the chains of network executives concerned about advertising revenue, and had control over their own work.