Memphis Beat

Memphis Beat
Memphis Beat
Memphis Beat title screen
Genre Drama
Created by Joshua Harto
Liz Garcia
Starring Jason Lee
Alfre Woodard
Sam Hennings
DJ Qualls
Celia Weston
Leonard Earl Howze
Abraham Benrubi
Opening theme "Memphis Beat" by Keb' Mo'
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Liz Garcia
Clark Johnson
George Clooney
Grant Heslov
Location(s) New Orleans
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Horizon Television
Smokehouse Productions
Original channel TNT
Original run June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22) – August 16, 2011 (2011-08-16)
External links

Memphis Beat is an American drama series that debuted on TNT on June 22, 2010 and ended on August 16, 2011. Memphis Beat was officially canceled on October 14, 2011.[1]



The show follows Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee), a police detective assigned to the General Assignment division of the MPD, who loves his mother, the blues, his city, and Elvis Presley and calls himself "the keeper of Memphis". His fierce dedication to his home town is offset by his easygoing approach to his job, an attitude that irks by-the-book Lt. Tanya Rice (Alfre Woodard), his new boss.



Jason Lee said he was drawn to the show because the concept was original and the protagonist was fun to play. Lee said, "The whole package was unique and once I came to found the character and the material and the scenarios and his relationships and he’s such a great guy and is so multi-layered and cares such a great deal for his city and his family and the people that he’s protecting." Lee listened to hundreds of Presley songs in preparation for the role, and said his respect for the artist grew as a result.[2] The vocals for Lee's character are sung by Mark Arnell.[3]

The title Delta Blues was originally considered, but it was eventually changed to Memphis Beat.[4] The show was created by married couple Josh Harto and Liz Garcia, with actor George Clooney and his production partner writer/actor/director Grant Heslov serving as executive producers. Harto and Garcia wrote the first two episodes of the series.[5] Liz Garcia said of the show, "Broadcast TV is being influenced by cable in so many ways in terms of reinventing genres and taking chances, and this is part of it. [...] The forefront of creativity is on cable TV."[6]

Despite the show's setting, the first season was primarily filmed in Laplace, LA and New Orleans, LA with only some key locations and exteriors filmed in Memphis.[7] This has largely been attributed to the better tax incentives by filming in a state other than Tennessee.

On September 16, 2010, TNT announced that Memphis Beat was renewed for a second season, the first episode of which was broadcast June 14, 2011.

On October 17, 2011, TNT decided not to pick up a third season of Memphis Beat.


Critical Reception

Memphis Beat has received mixed to average reviews, earning a score of 56 on Metacritic.[8] The New York Times said of the pilot episode "This series is to Memphis what the HBO series “Treme” is to New Orleans and “Justified” on FX is to Harlan County in Kentucky — timeless indigenous music is set against the exoticism of temporal subcultures.[9] The New York Daily News gave another positive review saying that "TNT's new "Memphis Beat" has a great soundtrack and a pretty good cop drama in between.".[10] The Hollywood Reporter also gave the pilot a positive review:

But even as the cop genre seems beyond saturation, along comes TNT's Memphis Beat, a series with a fresh character in a fresh environment with a fresh look and sound that proves, against all odds, that good actors and agile execution trump format every time.[11]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Actor Result
2011 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Alfre Woodard Nominated
2011 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Performance - Drama Alfre Woodard Nominated
2011 Gracie Allen Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series Alfre Woodard Won

International broadcasting

Country Network Series Premiere
 Canada Super Channel[12] September 9, 2010
 Turkey CNBC-e September 23, 2010
 Portugal AXN November 25, 2010
 Norway Viasat 4 April 11, 2011
 South Africa Mnet Series April 27, 2011
 Spain AXN June 23, 2011
 Poland TV Puls September 5, 2011
 Latvia LTV 7 September 30, 2011
 Israel HOT3 2011
 Finland MTV3 October 6, 2011


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 14, 2011). "TNT Cancels 'Memphis Beat' After 2 Seasons". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Raub, Matt (June 4, 2010). "Exclusive: Jason Lee Talks 'Memphis Beat', 'My Name is Earl'". The Flick Cast. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ Keveney, Bill (June 20, 2010). "Jason Lee moves to 'Memphis Beat' as a singing detective". 
  4. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne (April 5, 2010). "Jason Lee is keeping busy with TNT's 'Memphis Beat' [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ "About the Show". Memphis Beat (Official site). Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ Kronke, David (June 6, 2010). "Summer is now the time for broadcast networks to get serious". Los Angeles Times.,0,6468508.story. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Donahue, Michael (August 24, 2010). "Schilling plays 'spiritual' role in season finale of 'Memphis Beat'". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Memphis Beat : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Stanley, Allesandra (21 June 2010). "Memphis Beat. Take Your Time, Crime Will Wait". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Hinckley, David (22 June 2010). "TNT cop drama 'Memphis Beat', starring Jason Lee, wins with Southern flavor and great soundtrack". New York Daily News. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Garron, Barry. "Memphis Beat: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Memphis Beat on Super Channel". Retrieved 2010-08-18. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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