Creator of TV series gets permission to film at Stanislaus County jail. For what show?

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Some custodial deputies at the Stanislaus County jail are expected to get airtime on television, talking about their jobs and interaction with jail inmates.

County supervisors gave approval Tuesday for a production company to shoot footage and record interviews at the county detention facilities for a television series on the A&E network.

Tuesday’s action approved an agreement with Lucky 8 TV LLC, which has produced the “60 Days In” docuseries broadcast on A&E. But a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said he believes there’s no connection with that show.

According to a consent item report to the Board of Supervisors, a crew will shoot material for a new program providing an inside look at booking processes at jails across the country.

Crew members will station themselves in the intake unit to film the booking process. Jail staff participation will be optional.

“This is not a scripted reality television program,” Sheriff Jeff Dirkse wrote in the staff report. “The film crew will be recording the day-to-day operations as well as interviewing staff about what they do and why they do it.”

Lucky 8 LLC, based in New York City, is known for the docuseries “60 Days In,” which became the No. 1 show on A&E. The series has followed volunteer undercover “inmates” for two months in county jails in Atlanta, Indiana and Arizona to show what happens behind bars.

The A&E series shows the volunteer inmates in jail cells and common areas going through their personal dramas.

“That is not the case with this production,” said Sgt. Luke Schwartz, a department spokesman. “The way it was pitched to us, it’s an effort to show the highly outstanding work done at the custodial facilities through the lens of the arrestee and custodial staff.”

There was no information on the new program’s title and when it might air. A voicemail at Lucky 8 headquarters in New York would not accept a message Wednesday. The March 14 agreement between the county and Lucky 8 is signed by Greg Henry, a producer for the company.

Lucky 8’s website says the company has created a wide range of TV shows in genres including crime, science, food and comedy.

Schwartz said the filming is scheduled from March 24 to the end of May. The Sheriff’s Department asked other agencies that have experience with the company and received a positive referral, the staff report said.

Schwartz said he thinks the show is similar to a jail-related program, about a dozen years ago, that focused on the experience of staff and inmates at the downtown jail in Modesto.

Under the agreement with the county and Sheriff’s Department, the production company promises to reimburse for any county costs including overtime pay.