Friday, August 12, 2022

Mike Rowe’s new show ‘How America Works’ to feature Wilmington Police Department, filming this week

“How America Works” is rolling at the Wilmington Police Department headquarters this week. (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands Williams)

WILMINGTON — A show by Fox Business Network has tapped Wilmington as the backdrop to show how America’s law enforcement officers work.

A documentary series, “How America Works,” is currently rolling at the Wilmington Police Department headquarters on Bess Street for an episode about law enforcement. Camera crews are following several officers on their duties throughout the city. The shoot for the episode began Wednesday and is continuing through the end of the week, Dec. 17, according to film permits the production pulled with the city.

Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe narrates the hour-long series, which gives viewers an inside glimpse into sometimes overlooked, round-the-clock jobs that keep society going. It is produced by Warm Springs Productions, the Montana-based company behind Fox Business Network’s “American Dream House,” History’s “Mountain Men,” and HGTV’s “Island Hunters.”

The first season of the show debuted in September and airs new episodes on Mondays at 8 p.m. Viewers travel from the Hoover Dam to coastal Alaska, learning more about the electricity demand and lumberjacking. They meet the people behind salt production in New Mexico, and waste management in Alabama, and entertainment and gambling in Las Vegas.

Unlike “Dirty Jobs,” where Rowe is working firsthand with sewer backup or exotic animal cages, the host won’t be on any ride-alongs with WPD. He only narrates the show, which shines the full spotlight on the workers in each episode.

According to WPD spokesperson Brandon Shope, five officers were selected for the episode. He declined to share names, citing an agreement signed with the show, but indicated it will highlight different units and give the most realistic picture of the day-in-the-life of a police officer.

“We have several different facets and several different specialized units,” Shope said. “Obviously, we’ve got SABLE [Aviation Unit]. We’ve got canine. We’ve got so many different things that are here at our department. So there’s a lot of different options. We wanted to give them a variety of options to show the different aspects of our department.”

The show will likely air sometime next year.

Shope said the production reached out to the department originally, and they engaged in talks for several weeks ahead of the shoot. He said the producers, command staff and officers worked together to narrow down who would be featured.

“We’re really excited to have Fox Business Network and the production company here in Wilmington right now,” Shope said. “We really appreciate them for taking the time to really work with us to make sure that we’re showing an accurate portrayal of law enforcement and for just taking the time to show that behind-the-scenes look at what our American heroes do day in and day out.”

This past year a PBS production also traveled to Wilmington for a similar documentary-style series. Several recently released episodes of “Start Up” took a deep look into local businesses, including Tru Colors Brewing, Sea Love Sea Salt, Bitty and Beau’s Coffee and Genesis Block.

It’s unclear why the showrunners chose Wilmington. A producer for “How America Works” declined to comment on the specifics of the production at this time.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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