This was posted on Monday, January 30, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
A&E has moved its popular “60 Days In’ reality show to the Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail for season three and four, the network announced today.
The first two seasons were set in Clark County Jail in Indiana and the show generated solid ratings, averaging 2.4 million season one counting DVR usage three days after each airing. Season two brought in 2 million viewers, with DVR usage up to seven days after airing. The location of the third and fourth seasons was kept under wraps until today.
The third season debuts Thursday, March 2 at 9 p.m.
The jail is led by Chief Jailer Colonel Mark C. Adger, who is hoping the information he gleans from volunteers willing to spend up to 60 days in his prison will help him improve the conditions there. The cast members are nominally compensated for what amounts to a social experiment.
The network spent more than two months shooting at the jail in the fall, pretending to be another show which was looking at a jail in a generalized way. (Like “Undercover Boss,” this show has to come up with a way to keep from being “found out” by jail staff and jailers alike now that the show is a known entity.) They installed cameras all over a women’s prison and a part of the men’s prison. The cast has yet to be announced.
Unlike Clark County, the volunteers will be cooped up with their cell mates for more than 15 hours a day. In Clark County, the prisoners were free to roam their space 24/7.
The press release tries to amp up the drama with this description:
With five times the number of inmates as previous seasons, rampant drug problems, a powerful gang population and the constant threat of violence, innocent participants plunge deeper into this dangerous world of incarceration.The two groups of participants were shot in back-to-back phases and will air over two seasons. The highly anticipated third season will consist of nine undercover participants who enter the program to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system…
The participants who infiltrate the jail this season include a special education teacher who works with at risk youth, a man who believes that the system has failed African Americans and wants to help fight discrimination, a former corrections officer who wants to see what it is like when the roles are reversed, a woman who met her husband while he was incarcerated and hopes to understand his institutionalized behavior, a Marine with law enforcement aspirations and others.