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The First 48
Format Drama - Action, Reality television
Country of origin United States
Running time 42 minutes
Original channel A&E
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run June 3, 2004 (2004-06-03) – present
External links
Official website

The First 48 is an American reality television show based on homicide detective units in various cities across the United States. The show's premise is summarized in its title voiceover: "For homicide detectives, the clock starts ticking the moment they are called. Their chance of solving a case is cut in half if they don't get a lead within the first 48 hours." A countdown timer is shown occasionally during the show to reinforce this, and to add drama.

Each episode picks one or more homicides in different cities, covering each alternately, showing how detectives use forensic evidence, witness interviews and other advanced detective skills to identify suspects.

The First 48 is notable because it takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations with unprecedented access to crime scenes, autopsies, forensic processing, and interrogations, offering a view of homicide detective work that is not obscured by the veil of fiction. The original soundtrack, composed by both Chuck Hammer (2004-2005) and Brian and Justin Deming (2006-2008), is a combination of dark ambient music integrated with sound design.

The show offers a realistic, uncompromising, gritty view of homicide detectives in America, and the methods they use to do their job effectively. In 2006, the series was nominated for a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award in the Continuing Series category by International Documentary Association, eventually losing out to "American Experience."


The First 48 has featured detective units in the following U.S. cities:


  1. ^ [1]

External links



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