Ep. 2 All Due Respect Melvin Williams, who plays the character The Deacon, was in reality a drug kingpin in his youth. He was arrested in 1984 by Ed Burns, a writer of the show who previously had worked as an officer in the Baltimore Police Department. David Simon wrote about the arrest in his capacity as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun.
Ep. 2 Soft Eyes Lt. Merrimaw is based off of Bill Marrimaw, the managing editor of the Baltimore Sun during David Simon's tenure there. Merrimaw's harsh demeanor reflects Simon's view of the real Merrimaw, a man Simon despised for ruining the journalistic enviroment of the Sun.
Ep. 1 More with Less The version of "Way Down in the Hole" that plays over the opening credits in Season 5 is performed by Steve Earle who also portrays recurring character Walon.
Ep. 1 More with Less Clark Johnson, who plays Baltimore Sun editor Gus Haynes in Season 5, also directed the pilot episode, "The Target" and the series finale "-30-."
Ep. 6 The Dickensian Aspect "The Dickensian Aspect" was a comment given to David Simon during his time at the Baltimore Sun by John Caroll, the inspiration for the out-of-touch Whiting character.
Ep. 10 -30- -30- is a journalistic term that has been used to signify the end of a story.
Ep. 10 -30- "Middle Ground" and "-30-" both received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series -- the only Emmy nominations received by the show, despite its amazing critical success.