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The documentary-reality show, The First 48, is as real life as it gets on TV. The show televises the darker side of life in the US by taking viewers through the first 48 hours of an investigation after a murder has been discovered. As this is the most critical time to obtain leads to the suspect, The First 48 is perfectly named.

During the initial 48 hours of a homicide investigation, the evidence is fresh as well as the witness's memories. In addition, the suspect hasn't had enough time to run and hide. In the documentary, the cameras follow detectives from two different cities investigating two different homicides. It's the viewer's chance to see the reality of what happens during an investigation and the results of their hard work.

Detectives believe the chance of solving a case is cut in half if not solved in the first 48 hours. Although the show is named for that belief, not all investigations shown are solved within that time frame. During an episode, viewers begin at the crime scene, travel along as evidence is collected and are present during the questioning of witnesses. In addition, there are scenes of suspect interrogations and in some cases the criminal's arrest.

The program gives an insider's view at the real life workings of crime scene techniques, forensic evidence and advanced detective skills. As such, The First 48 is one of the highest-rated non-fiction justice programs on American television. To be part of the investigation as it develops, The First 48 airs on A&E Thursdays at 9pm.

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Thursday 9:00 PM et/pt on A&E
14 Seasons, 300 Episodes - Currently Airing
Reality
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The First 48 Full Episode Guide

  • New Orleans detectives Mike McCleery and Bob Bachelder investigate the death of a high-school senior, shot the week before Christmas and stuffed in the trunk of his car, 25 miles from home.

  • In this special episode, the detectives from The First 48 recount some of their most haunting cases.

  • Detectives investigate the shooting of a grandmother and her four-year-old grandson in New Orleans.

  • A young man is caught in the middle of gang warfare and killed in the middle of the day in Cleveland.

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