Live PD fans won't have long to wait for the show's return. On Patrol: Live - the new reality series from the producers and host Dan Abrams of Live PD – will premiere July 22 on the independent cable and satellite TV channel Reelz. Like the original, the series will air every Friday and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to midnight.
On Patrol: Live "documents in real time the everyday work of police officers on patrol from diverse departments across America," Reelz said in a statement. The program is hosted by Abrams, former Live PD cohost Sean "Sticks" Larkin, and Richland County Deputy Sheriff Curtis Wilson. Producers plan to include "citizen ride-alongs" in the new series where residents from the communities featured on the show will ride along with law enforcement officers and the On Patrol: Live cameras.
Despite the slightly altered title and format, it is made by the same studio (Big Fish Entertainment), and viewers of the original will find it familiar. "I have been advocating for the show to return for two years now, and it was just a question of finding the right partner," host and executive producer Dan Abrams told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I have had a number of inquiries from a number of networks about the show, and what I would typically do is have a conversation and then pass it on to the Big Fish folks, and then we would talk about whether it made sense. There had been a couple of other interesting discussions, but this one ended up making the most sense for everyone."
Abrams said that including the civilian ride-along segments and new police departments "fundamentally changes the fabric of the show."In most ways, it is going to be a very similar type of show to the one that existed previously," Abrams said.
A&E canceled Live PD just two months after ordering 160 additional episodes of the series. The show was a ratings powerhouse at the time of its cancellation. The decision to end the series echoed a similar move by the Paramount Network to end the long-running reality series Cops.
In the summer of 2020, both shows were canceled in response to protests following the death of George Floyd. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter there were conversations between A&E and Big Fish about the future of Live PD between pulling episodes of the series and canceling the series outright. Executives ultimately decided that the show couldn't proceed for several reasons, including the current political climate and the safety of crewmembers amid clashes between police and protesters.
This cancellation also followed criticism over the destruction of video footage belonging to a man who died in police custody. The network stated in response, "Contrary to many incorrect reports, neither A&E nor the producers of Live PD were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney's office. As is the case with all footage taken by Live PD producers, we no longer retained the unaired footage after learning that the investigation had concluded."
In Abrams' opinion, the show's focus on police departments ought to make it more important to keep it on the air. "I do think the environment has changed [since Live PD was canceled], but I don't think that should have determined whether Live PD, or a show like it, what is now being called On Patrol: Live, should be on the air," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I think the more we talk about policing, the more we should want to watch police officers doing what they do. There was a conversation then about policing, there is a conversation now about policing, and as a result I think it is a good thing to have a lens on police departments." Notably, Fox News revived Cops on streaming service Fox Nation last year.