Memphis quits The First 48

Published: May. 12, 2008 at 12:58 AM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2008 at 3:17 AM CDT
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The City of Memphis and A & E network's The First 48 have decided to call it quits.

Audiences around the country have grown to love Memphis homicide detectives featured on the real life crime drama.

Executive producer Laura Fleury says that after several years spotlighting crime investigations in Memphis, the city suddenly decided to suspend their agreement with the A & E network.

"I really have no idea. I mean the people of Memphis seem to love it," said Fleury.

Fleury says Memphis is one of the favorite featured cities with The First 48 audience members nationwide. But sources within the Memphis Police Department say homicide detectives need a break.

City leaders like council member Wanda Halbert say Memphis needs a break from the negative publicity. Though she appreciates the exposure to MPD's diligent detective work, Halbert worries about the popular program's effect on would-be visitors to the Bluff City.

"Memphis is not unlike any other urban city where we have our challenges, but it's certainly a great place to live, and we want to advocate that to others and encourage them to visit our city," said Halbert.

Producers say the show has had a positive impact by showcasing the diligent work of detectives and how they interact with the community to solve cases. They say the community is much more motivated to come forward and provide information as a result of the program.

"We love filming in Memphis for a lot of reasons, one because they are a terrific police department very dedicated to solving their cases," said Fleury.

Show producers say the city is still in discussions with the network, and they hope to resume their working relationship with the Memphis Police Department in the future.