Less than a month before their much-anticipated return to television, "The Sopranos" drew crowds Thursday while filming in the hometown of the cable show's fictional patriarch.
Trucks and trailers lined several streets as scenes for the final episode of the upcoming season were filmed inside a downtown building, prompting curious office workers to scurry outside.
Samantha Lombardo and her colleagues from a New Jersey energy company tried to catch glimpses of the stars. They didn't see any scenes being filmed, but they weren't disappointed.
Julianna Margulies, the former "ER" actress and a guest star this upcoming season, walked into a trailer on the street.
"It's very cool," said Lombardo, 25. "I'm such of the fan of the show. My boyfriend and I watch it all the time."
The series returns to HBO on March 12 after a hiatus of nearly two years. Twelve new episodes will start next month, and a final eight episodes will begin in January 2007.
A spokeswoman for HBO said the crew was filming scenes for episode No. 12 of the upcoming season. Later in the day, crews were expected to shoot scenes in Clifton.
"We love New Jersey. We love Newark and we shoot there all the time," said Mark Kamine, assistant unit production manager.
Film crews for "The Sopranos," which tells the story of fictional New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano and his family, have become familiar sites in New Jersey and New York since the Emmy-winning show debuted in 1999.
The March return isn't soon enough for some fans, including Teresa and Stephen Watts, who walked by the trailers. They are visiting the New York area from Bermuda and staying in downtown Newark.
"I'm kicking the TV every Sunday when the repeats come on," said Stephen Watts, 35.
He said he was hoping to spot stars of the show but walked away without seeing anyone.
New Jersey is so proud of "The Sopranos" that former Gov. Richard J. Codey honored the show's creator, David Chase, with a first-ever filmmaking award in December.