photo copyright TNT
TNT is ordering a second helping of its hit series MEMPHIS BEAT, starring Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) and Alfre Woodard (Three Rivers). TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season of the series, which also stars DJ Qualls (Hustle & Flow). The show is slated to return in 2011.
MEMPHIS BEAT premiered June 22 and quickly established itself as one of the summer’s hottest shows. In its first season, MEMPHIS BEAT averaged 4.7 million viewers and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the summer and the #1 Tuesday series among adults 25-54. MEMPHIS BEAT was created by Liz W. Garcia (Cold Case) and Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight). The series comes to TNT from George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon Television.
“MEMPHIS BEAT is a real treasure: a slightly off-center crime drama with great actors, memorable characters and a soundtrack steeped in Memphis sounds,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We look forward to another fantastic season next year.”
In MEMPHIS BEAT, Lee plays Dwight Hendricks, a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother. Woodard plays Lt. Tanya Rice, a demanding boss determined to keep Dwight on a short leash. Qualls co-stars as Davey Sutton, a uniform cop who considers himself to be Dwight’s protégé.
Also starring are Celia Weston (Junebug) as Dwight’s effervescent mother; Sam Hennings (Saving Grace) as Charlie White, aka Whitehead, Dwight’s seasoned, hypertensive partner; Leonard Earl Howze (Barbershop) as Reginald Greenback, a fellow detective struggling to make ends meet with two teenage daughters; and Abraham Benrubi (ER) as Sgt. JC Lightfoot, an officer who uses Chickasaw tribal wisdom in his police work.
Three-time Grammy®-winning singer/songwriter Keb’ Mo’ (Honeydripper) provides MEMPHIS BEAT’s intoxicating, blues-laced soundtrack, including the infectious title song.
The first season of MEMPHIS BEAT was executive-produced by Clooney, Heslov, Garcia, Harto, Scott Kaufer (Boston Legal) and John Fortenberry (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Sean Whitesell (House M.D.) and Smokehouse Pictures’ Abby Wolf-Weiss are co-executive producers.
MEMPHIS BEAT is TNT’s fifth summer series to be renewed this year. TNT previously announced renewals for the hit series The Closer (seventh season), Rizzoli & Isles (second season), Leverage (fourth season) and HawthoRNe (third season).