BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It went off the air 7 years ago, but President Obama says “The Wire” is still very relevant.

As Mary Bubala reports, the president says the Baltimore based series is one of the greatest TV shows ever and that’s not all.

The critically acclaimed series ‘The Wire’ is fueling an in-depth conversation about the need to overhaul the criminal justice system.

David Simon, the writer and creator of ‘The Wire’, spoke with President Obama in the White House.

“What drugs don’t destroy, the war on drugs is ripping apart,” said David Simon, Creator of The Wire.

“From a fiscal perspective you end up breaking the bank you end up spending so much more on prison than if these kids were in school or even going to college,” said Obama.

Their discussion focused on how ‘The Wire’ did something no other crime show had ever done before. It humanized the people involved in the drug culture in Baltimore.

“Omar by the way is my favorite character,” the president said.

Omar Little’s character is based on a real man from west Baltimore. Simon says he was incarcerated for 17 years and because he’s a convicted felon he’s been challenged to find legitimate work to get his life back on track.

“That man was an extraordinary man one of the most amazing people I’ve met in my life on paper he was a convicted felon and murderer and there was nothing that could get him from that extremity,” said Simon.

WATCH: Obama, Simon Discuss Drug Trade & Baltimore

There are major lessons to learn from ‘The Wire’, one of his favorite series about one of the toughest realities in America.

“I’m a huge fan of the wire, I think it’s the greatest not just television shows but pieces of art in the last couple of decades,” said the president.

That conversation was played at a bi-partisan criminal justice summit in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

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