A Wolf Films/44 Blue Show – Nightwatch – Is Worth a Watch on A&E!

An average of forty-two calls an hour; as many as 1,000 calls a night. No matter how you say it, New Orleans gets a helluva lot of police, fire and EMS calls in a 24-hour period. A&E has a new show on Thursday, following one of my favorites (The First 48) that comes on at 9pm CST entitled Nightwatch. It’s a Wolf Films (yes, follow along here, a Dick Wolf Production: Law & Orders) that follows the police, fire and EMS squads of New Orleans as they go about their nightly … business.

Let me be perfectly clear, it’s not Cops; it’s not even anything like Cops. It is a reality show but it will certainly keep your ass in your chair so I suggest you set your DVR so you don’t miss a single moment.

It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of the cities that The First 48 added to it’s roster in 2013. I was in New Orleans in December 2013 and was pleasantly surprised when I settled in my hotel room to watch my favorite show (The First 48) and that particular episode took place in New Orleans.

But I’m not writing this to tell you about my last vacation. This is a show you should definitely check out because you will be rewarded with an insight into modern police work, dedicated and knowledgeable EMS workers who you hope (or not) you meet one day, and firefighters who save a cat from an arson started burning house and actually have oxygen masks on board their truck that are meant for animals. (Yes, the cat makes it.)

Holly of the team Gavin & Holly, closes the door of the ambulance. © A&ETV.

Holly of the team Gavin & Holly, closes the door of the ambulance. © A&ETV.

EMSers Gavin and Holly and Titus and Dan start work at 8pm. Gavin is an iceberg. I have never seen anyone so cool; even when he’s dealing with a lying doper and delivers a dose of Narcan to a man in the back of his ambulance while his partner Holly drives.

Titus and Dan, the other well matched pair of EMSers, assist with some calls, but also answer their own. A man has congestive heart failure and can’t breathe. Of all the calls they’re sent to, one particular address gives Dan a deja vu and as they go in, he recalls the patient and talks to him like an old friend.

Victor and Cedric of the NOPD in the meantime are “wolfpackin'” in an attempt to find the shooters who gunned down Anthony, the first case the EMSers responded to in this episode.

Over at Firehouse SQURT 27, dinner is being made and Chief Terence is impatient. An alarm goes off and everything is dropped for a residential fire call.  An arson job.

Just as Gavin and Holly get ready to leave Tulane University Emergency they’re called back to the neighborhood where Anthony, their first call, was shot. Retaliation shots have been fired and members of the neighborhood have suffered. They bring an elderly lady in with three gunshot wounds.

NOPD continues their wolfpackin’ strategy in an attempt to catch the shooters. Driving in a pack, patrolling the streets in the area where the shooting took place, checking out foot traffic, hoping the shooters get nervous and make a mistake. Around 12:30pm that’s exactly what happens and they recover two guns, the magazines and some pills.

“Cousins” Titus and Dan stop off at SQURT 27 just in time for dinner. It’s way after 1am and Chef/Capt Kevin has finally put dinner on the table. As they laugh and eat and compliment the cook, Titus makes a joke about them being the kind of cousins “you let ’em on the porch but not in the house.” (I use to have a boyfriend like that.)

Yes, there is some humor, yes there is plenty of drama. At the end of this particular episode, there is a great deal of sadness, and a good deal of truth. Even when Gavin and Holly’s shift is finally over and they stop for a coffee, they still cannot let it go. A citizen tells them there’s someone over at Jackson Square having a seizure.

Turns out it’s just someone who’s overpartied. That happens a lot in New Orleans. I wonder if Nightwatch is going to have a Mardi Gras episode (or two).

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Dead Again – Winner … Joe Schillaci – Alive & Kicking

I admit, I have been more than pissed at A&E for dumping Longmire and insulting my intelligence with Love Prison. I mean I watch and write about TV for a living. I understand demograpics. I’m in the demographic range that they no longer want anything to do with.

But how many 18-49 year olds do you know are buying expensive cars and saving for retirement? I’m quite sure Longmire will land on it’s feet where it will be more than appreciated and bring its 5.7 million fans* with it.

But there are shows on A&E that I’ve been watching since Day 1. The First 48 is one of those. From Miami to Memphis to Birmingham to New Orleans to Dallas and Harris County, I’ve seen them all. I own both “Best of the First 48” DVDs. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. I’m a very loyal fan and I bet the demographic category I fall in is too.

Joe Schillaci has always been one of my favorites. He openly admitted one morning when having breakfast with two colleagues that he was metrosexual. When I discovered he was taking part in a Dick Wolf crime show called “Dead Again” I was really excited.

Executive Producer Dick Wolf has gone from showing us some of the fictionalized dramas of America’s real cases in Law & Order to Cold Justice on TNT (I’m a fan) and now to A&E with Dead Again.

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon, Michele Wood - the team of Dead Again. © AETV.

Joe Schillaci, Kevin Gannon, Michele Wood – the team of Dead Again. © AETV.

Wolf has assembed a team of experts: Joe Schillaci (Retired Deputy Commander, Miami), a 30 year veteran with a background in homicide and undercover work and a fan-favorite from The First 48; Kevin Gannon (Retired Detective Sergeant, NYC); and Michele Wood (Homicide Detective, Chicago, 13 year veteran).

The 60-minute series uses these experts in their field to re-examine controversial murder cases in which serious unresolved questions still linger long after the verdict was determined.

The episodic premiere was Thursday, October 2. I watched it twice. I’m still thinking about it and today is Saturday. The case and how it ended is haunting me.

Like The First 48, the eight cases Schillaci and the team re-investigate will not be resolved when the 60-minutes is up. The first episode of Dead Again ended so abruptly, with no known resolution, that I believe that’s why it’s still effecting me.

But I guess you can’t watch year after year of true crime murder cases and not have it effect you. But what really marvels me is the difference between Cold Justice and Dead Again.

Cold Justice reopens unsolved murder cases with the consent of local law enforcement and has a go at re-examining the evidence in an attempt to solve the murder.

The premise behind Dead Again is totally fascinating when you seriously think about.

Longmire fans 5.7 million viewers when DVR views get added in over 7 days. Multichannel News (8/28/14) Updated

A&E Greenlights ‘Love Prison’ Reality Series, 3 Others – TheWrap

A&E Greenlights ‘Love Prison’ Reality Series, 3 Others – TheWrap.

Well, fall is here and so are the new shows. I managed to watch two episodes of A&E’s social experiment called “Love Prison” yesterday and was shocked they could find advertisers for that crap.

Reading some of the advanced press online, they stated one out of every three relationships begins online. Really? I did do a little bit of research on my own and unfortunately the state of online dating is not a happy one. There are just as many online dating commercials as there are bladder leakage ones.

Serviss and Siegel, contestants on Love Prison. © AETV.

Serviss and Siegel, contestants on Love Prison. © AETV.

The two episodes I watched were train wrecks … I couldn’t look away. Serviss (42) and Siegel (39) were dating for six months. Siegel is from California; Serviss from Long Island.

The other episode I watched was about Rosie, an LA party girl and Chris, a computer nerd from Iowa. They had been dating online for two years. She was wishy washy and he was way to passive. To give you an example, residents of the Love Prison get one phone call during the week – he called his mother.

All I could think about the entire time I was watching … they dumped Longmire for this … crap. Just to get a better skew in the 18-49 demographic. Yikes!

Rosie and Chris, contestants in Love Prison. © AETV

Rosie and Chris, contestants in Love Prison. © AETV

There is hope, however. Some of the other shows they have planned will appeal to the cerebral part of that demographic.

Dogs of War is about a nonprofit organization that pairs veterans with PTSD with adopted dogs who help the veterans transition back into regular life.

Mark Wahlberg (yes of “The Wahlburgers”) is executive producing a show for A&E entitled Big Brew Theory that follows four quirky MIT grads as they pursue their dream of opening a home-grown micro brewery. I bet their parents are proud.

The “Godfather of Pittsburgh” takes a fascinating look at a truly original character who finds it hard to walk the ‘straight and narrow’ and still succeed in business. (That’s their write-up, not mine.)

Other shows in the works include 8 Minutes (working title) which really sounds promising, The Unproduceables, which sounds hysterical and the new show by executive producer Dick Wolf, Dead Again that has a premiere date of Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9pm CT.

I’m covering Dead Again in another post.

Many say that the unscripted “reality” show came out of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike when all 12,000 screenwriters and TV writers in the guild went on strike. It started on November 5, 2007 and ended on February 12, 2008.

I would think that by now networks would realize that America has had its fill of reality shows. Love Prison airs on Monday nights, 9pm CT.