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A&E wants to feature Baton Rouge EMS in reality TV show

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the parish attorney’s office vetted the license agreement for Nightwatch—and not the show. Daily Report regrets the error. 

Baton Rouge could become the setting of an A&E reality TV show if the Metro Council agrees to a license agreement allowing the show’s producers to film city-parish EMS paramedics on the job.

Nightwatch, from executive producer Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame, is an unscripted, hour long series that follows emergency first responders as they work the overnight shift. The show was filmed in New Orleans and Tampa, Florida. Baton Rouge is one of three cities to be featured in an upcoming season, says Katie Patton Pryor, executive director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission.

Councilman Matt Watson is set to introduce the proposed agreement between the city-parish and 44 Blue Productions at today’s Metro Council meeting. The measure authorizes Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to strike a deal allowing the production company to film EMS activities, incorporate the footage and others given to it into the program as well as advertise and air the footage on TV.

A public hearing and vote are scheduled for March 28.

Watson says the parish attorney has vetted the show and the Department of Emergency Medical Services in on board with the project.

“It should be a wonderful vehicle to show our award-winning EMS department to the rest of the country,” says Watson, who along with Councilwoman Tara Wicker, is a member of the Baton Rouge Film Commission Board. Last year, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International and American Heart Association recognized East Baton Rouge EMS communications for outstanding service.

The production company would likely start filming soon after the Metro Council votes on the agreement, Pryor says.

Nightwatch would join Greyhound, a World War II naval drama starring Tom Hanks—as productions filming in Baton Rouge. The city-parish was in the running for a similar CBS reality TV show last year but was not selected for the project.

The Metro Council meets at 4 p.m. today at 222 St. Louis Street. See the full agenda.

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