November 12, 2020

The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

The A&E Network's documentary series "Nightwatch", which chronicles first responders on the job, will return to film a fourth season set in New Orleans after a three-year hiatus from the city, officials announced Friday.

Filming for the 25-episode season focusing on New Orleans Emergency Medical Services' paramedics who work 12-hour overnight shifts began earlier this week and should continue into next year, said a statement from the agency's director, Dr. Emily Nichols.

Nichols' statement said it was "an honor" for the city's paramedics to be featured before a national audience during a year in which they "have given so much of themselves," doing their work amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"We are thrilled to ... showcase the beauty and resilience of New Orleans," Nichols said.

Produced by the companies 44 Blue Productions and Dick Wolf Reality, "Nightwatch" aired three seasons set in New Orleans between 2015 and 2017, shining a spotlight on local emergency responders.

But the city ended filming arrangements with both "Nightwatch" and "The First 48" — which chronicled homicide investigations across the country — after a murder suspect's attorneys accused producers of "The First 48" of withholding footage that could benefit the defendant. The "First 48" is also shown on the A&E Network.

The production company Kirkstall Road Enterprises swore in court that it had no extra tape. But the suspect's attorneys later turned up footage of an interview with a friend of the murder victim, prompting the judge overseeing the case to criticize city officials' decision to let "The First 48" embed with the police.

The executive producer of "Nightwatch," Rasha Drachkovitch, thanked Mayor LaToya Cantrell for greenlighting the return of the show to New Orleans.

"We are excited to once again tell the stories of these heroes," Drachkovitch said.