Sam Hennings on Memphis Beat Season 2: Backstory, Jazz Ahead

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Memphis Beat is opening up its palette on season two, in more ways that one.

That's how star Sam Hennings teased the episodes to come, as I chatted with him this week about the upcoming return of the TNT hit.

"It's a richer season," Hennings said. "You're gonna see more police work, a wider pallette of music. You're gonna get to know and understand each character a little more than you did last year."

Whitehead on Memphis Beat

As for his character in particular?

"You'll see a confrontation between Rice and Whitehead on the premiere. It will create tension that lasts through the first five episodes."

The city of Memphis itself has seen plenty of tension this spring, of course, as it faced massive flooding in April. Hennings said the show won't address that real-life development directly, but...

"Episode nine does take place with a huge storm hitting the city. We deal with the evacuation process. It focuses on what's going on inside the precinct while flodding is going on outside."

Hennings is quick to say the set couldn't be more calm, however. There are no complaints about hot temperature, working conditions or long hours. He and Jason Lee are truly as close as their fictional selves on the series.

"He's terrific," Hennings said of the show's lead. "Jason and I get along so well. You'd think we've known each other our whole lives... there's really not a bad egg in the whole [cast] basket."

For a show that uses its city as a character within the story, Hennings also had a warning for fans of Elvis: move over a bit, King. Dwight's affection for Presley will still play a key role, but viewers should also expect more blues and jazz than they heard on season one.

In conclusion, Hennings couldn't be happier to be working on a show that concentrates on the region of his birth. The actor is a native of Georgia.

"Memphis Beat really does reflect life in the south," he said. "It can be so lovely here, the people are very sincere and they have great character and a great work ethic."

Memphis Beat premieres season two on June 14. Return to TV Fanatic for a detailed review as soon as the episode concludes.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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