Memphis Beat is an American comedy-drama police procedural television series created by Joshua Harto and Liz Garcia which follows Dwight Hendricks, a crackerjack police detective 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, his new boss.
The series aired in the USA on TNT from 22 June, 2010 to 16 August, 2011. There are 20 hour-long episodes in two seasons.
Memphis Beat premiered in South Africa on DStv's M-Net Series channel on Wednesday 27 April 2011, at 20h30. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Thursdays: 02h30, 08h30, 14h30
Memphis Beat centres on Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee), a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother.
He is "the keeper of Memphis," a Southern gentleman who is protective of his fellow citizens, reverential of the city's history and deeply rooted in its blues music scene.
Despite his impeccable instincts as a detective, Dwight's loose, relaxed style of police work rubs his demanding new boss, Lt. Tanya Rice (Alfre Woodard), the wrong way.
But Dwight may eventually win her over to a Memphis state of mind, especially when he takes the stage at his favourite hangout to perform a legendary song or two.
Memphis Beat co-stars DJ Qualls as Davey Sutton, a uniform cop who considers himself to be Dwight's protégé. Also starring are Celia Weston as Dwight's effervescent mother; Sam Hennings as Charlie White, aka Whitehead, Dwight's seasoned, hypertensive partner; Leonard Earl Howze as Reginald Greenback, a fellow detective struggling to make ends meet with two teenage daughters; and Abraham Benrubi as Sgt. JC Lightfoot, an officer who uses Chickasaw tribal wisdom in his police work.
Memphis Beat was created by Liz W. Garcia (Cold Case) and Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight), who also wrote the first two episodes. Harto, who grew up in the South and has spent a lot of time with his country-musician grandfather, sees the show's setting as a chance to spotlight one of America's great cities.
Music is just as vital to Memphis Beat as its unique characters, drama and humour is the music. To get that perfect Memphis feel, the production team approached noted blues singer/songwriter Keb' Mo'. He provides original compositions and performances for the show to supplement classic Memphis tracks.
Memphis Beat is executive-produced by Clooney, Heslov, Garcia, Harto, John Fortenberry (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Scott Kaufer (Boston Legal). Sean Whitesell (House) and Smokehouse Pictures' Abby Wolf-Weiss are co-executive producers.
The pilot was directed and executive-produced by Emmy nominee Clark Johnson (The Shield). Harto and Garcia are a husband-and-wife team. Harto is also an actor.
Series exclusive to M-Net Series
Season 1 (10 episodes)
Premiere: 27 April 2011 | Finale: 29 June 2011 | Wednesdays, 20h30
Season 2 (10 episodes)
Premiere: 9 November 2011 | Finale: 11 January 2012 | Wednesdays, 20h30