A&E’s Nightwatch Nation, an expansion of the net’s Nightwatch, premieres Thursday, August 16 at 10p. Rasha Drachkovitch, Co-Founder & CEO of 44 Blue Productions and Executive Producer on Nightwatch Nation, talks about how – and why – this iteration is different.
Cynopsis: How does Nightwatch Nation differ from the original Nightwatch?
Rasha Drachkovitch: Nightwatch Nation differs from the original series by focusing only on EMTs this time. We used to also follow police and fire in Nightwatch. Additionally, and most importantly, we are going national. Instead of focusing on one city, Nightwatch Nation captures real heroes saving lives in four US cities: Austin, Yonkers, Tucson and Baton Rouge.
Cynopsis: Why expand nationwide?
Drachkovitch: We wanted to expand the series to include more EMTs, more calls, and more amazing action. Everyday across America, over 650,000 people call 9-1-1 in a state of emergency. We wanted to be there to tell the bigger story of these first responders.
Cynopsis: What is the biggest challenge for an emergency reality show?
Drachkovitch: These types of shows have to be real and authentic. There are no second takes. Producers have to be very sensitive and professional in capturing someone’s worst day (a person in a state of emergency), while being there to document someone’s best day (filming an EMT saving someone’s life). That’s a great responsibility and something 44 Blue tries very hard to balance.
Cynopsis: How much did you collaborate with Executive Producer Dick Wolf on the series?
Drachkovitch: From day one, Dick wanted to tell the story of everyday heroes among us, specifically the first responders who keep us safe while we sleep. Dick does this in all of his scripted franchises, and he wanted to produce a “real-life” series that depicted how EMTs rush into harm’s way to save lives. His input, support and brand really elevate Nightwatch Nation into something special. I’m very proud to be working with one of the great storytellers of our time on a show that we hope honors these heroes and brings people together.
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