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Lockup cancelled after 16 years on MSNBC

One of the longest-running reality shows on the air, the weekend MSNBC series Lockup, has been cancelled, and will end after the season that begins Saturday night. The show takes a documentary-style look inside prisons around the country.

In 2015, I interviewed its producers about how Lockup is filmed, and executive producer Rasha Drachkovitch told me, “It’s pretty remarkable that here we are, 15 years later, still producing a show on the subject of corrections.”

TV Newser reported this afternoon that “MSNBC is making another shift in its longfrom unit as longtime staffers behind some MSNBC’s most well-known documentary series will be leaving”—specifically VP of originals Michael Rubin and VP of development Lauren Frasca, along with eight other staff members—and “Caught on Camera and Lockup will not be returning.”

This isn’t a sudden cancellation for Lockup, though. The show’s Facebook page has a countdown to the final season, and Drachkovitch told The Hollywood Reporter last June that the show was ending its run. However, he said his company, 44 Blue Productions, may continue to produce prison-themed unscripted programming in the future:

“Because we’ve been leaders in this space, new and exciting opportunities are on the horizon for 44 Blue to continue bringing viewers stories of the extreme human condition. We’ve been approached to create content in the same genre that we’ve had such success pioneering, we look forward to telling more stories of life behind bars. Whether it be linear, international, VR or digital—exciting things to come.”

It’s unclear how many episodes will be part of this final season. A few older episodes are still on Netflix; there is also a Lockup: RAW DVD, and Lockup: Raw is available for streaming.

 

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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