The City of New Orleans has dropped their contract with A&E’s The First 48 and will soon nix sister series Nightwatch, citing a desire to focus more resources to fighting crime.
According to NOLA, the city announced its plans less than a year after the producers of The First 48 found themselves accused of “complicating” a triple-murder case by withholding footage.
New Orleans Police spokesman Tyler Gamble said the declined contract renewal “to ensure that all of our available time and resources are focused on fighting crime.”
Now in it’s 15th season, The First 48 – which embeds with police during homicide investigations – shot no fewer than seven episodes with NOPD this season, following on 10 New Orleans -based episodes from the previous season.
NOPD Captain and Police Association of New Orleans president Michael Glasser said he is sorry for the show to end, as it added a human element to law enforcement that needed to be seen by the general public.
“At a time when community relations are so fragile, locally and nationally, it was of enormous benefit to everyone to have an avenue open for the public to see what we do and how we do it,” Glasser said.
Meanwhile, New Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Laurie White – who oversaw the homicide trial in that landed the producers of The First 48 in hot water – was on record in voicing a different opinion of the show.
“I wish that the city would never contract with ‘The First 48,’ and I hope in the future they would think through that,” she said in 2015. “I now have a death penalty case in which three people were alleged to have been murdered. It causes the court great concern to have to deal with the additional problems.”
The city also announced that the contract with the first responder-centric show Nightwatch would not be renewed after the current season ends in the fall. While A&E announced they would be renewing the show for a third season, it is uncertain if those plans have been scrapped or if the show will be moving to another city.
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