As expected, they’re bringing Jason Lee and company back for 10 new episodes in 2011. A debut date hasn’t been specified but a summer run is expected.
Here’s the official press release from TNT…
The Beat Goes On as TNT Orders
Second Season of Hit Series MEMPHIS BEAT
TNT is ordering a second helping of its hit series MEMPHIS BEAT, starring Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) and Alfre Woodard (Three Rivers). TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season of the series, which also stars DJ Qualls (Hustle & Flow). The show is slated to return in 2011.
MEMPHIS BEAT premiered June 22 and quickly established itself as one of the summer’s hottest shows. In its first season, MEMPHIS BEAT averaged 4.7 million viewers and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the summer and the #1 Tuesday series among adults 25-54. MEMPHIS BEAT was created by Liz W. Garcia (Cold Case) and Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight). The series comes to TNT from George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon Television.
“MEMPHIS BEAT is a real treasure: a slightly off-center crime drama with great actors, memorable characters and a soundtrack steeped in Memphis sounds,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We look forward to another fantastic season next year.”
In MEMPHIS BEAT, Lee plays Dwight Hendricks, a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother. Woodard plays Lt. Tanya Rice, a demanding boss determined to keep Dwight on a short leash. Qualls co-stars as Davey Sutton, a uniform cop who considers himself to be Dwight’s protege.
Also starring are Celia Weston (Junebug) as Dwight’s effervescent mother; Sam Hennings (Saving Grace) as Charlie White, aka Whitehead, Dwight’s seasoned, hypertensive partner; Leonard Earl Howze (Barbershop) as Reginald Greenback, a fellow detective struggling to make ends meet with two teenage daughters; and Abraham Benrubi (ER) as Sgt. JC Lightfoot, an officer who uses Chickasaw tribal wisdom in his police work.
Three-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Keb’ Mo’ (Honeydripper) provides MEMPHIS BEAT’s intoxicating, blues-laced soundtrack. Robert Randolph & The Family Band perform the infectious title song (Music Video: http://www.tnt.tv/dramavision/?oid=61295).
The first season of MEMPHIS BEAT was executive-produced by Clooney, Heslov, Garcia, Harto, Scott Kaufer (Boston Legal) and John Fortenberry (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Sean Whitesell (House M.D.) and Smokehouse Pictures’ Abby Wolf-Weiss are co-executive producers.
MEMPHIS BEAT is TNT’s fifth summer series to be renewed this year. TNT previously announced renewals for the hit series The Closer (seventh season), Rizzoli & Isles (second season), Leverage (fourth season) and HawthoRNe (third season).
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; Dark Blue, starring Dylan McDermott; Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula; and Southland, from Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and Numb3rs; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Image courtesy TNT.