'Live PD' Recovers From Dip in Saturday Night TV Ratings

A&E's reality TV docu-series Live P.D. regained its ground in the ratings on Saturday, earning the top spot among non-sports programming.

It is no surprise that ESPN dominated Saturday's TV ratings, between UFC Fight Night Preliminaries and college basketball programming. However, between some of these heavy hitters was Live P.D. in the number three spot for the day. According to TV By The Numbers, the show jumped back up to a 0.7 in the Nielsen ratings, with nearly 2 million total viewers.

Live P.D. has quietly become a force to be reckoned with in terms of reach and ratings power. The show has become a staple of the tricky weekend programming slots, drawing in fans and casual viewers alike. It sits at the intersection of dramatic documentary and reality TV, following police officers live on night time patrols and highlighting particularly drastic encounters.

Live P.D. is in its third season on A&E. It premiered in the fall of 2016 with a plan for just eight episodes, which would be two hours each. That season was expanded to 21 episodes, and in the end bumped all the way up to 62 total episodes. The second season premiered just six weeks after the first ended, and it ran 82 episodes, straight through the summer.

The second season concluded at the end of August, and the third season began less than a month later. A&E picked the show up for another 150 episodes, and it will run continuously through 2019.

According to a report by Deadline, Live P.D. was named the most-viewed show of 2018 on streaming platforms, DVRs and on-demand services. The data came from a survey of smart TV data by Inscape, a subsidiary of Vizio. The company found that, across about 9 million households ranging in different demographic and geographic territory, Live P.D. was the show to watch last year.

It makes sense, therefore, that A&E wants to keep the show rolling. Live P.D. is not beholden to typical TV seasons, as the police work all year round. Currently, the show follows eight different law enforcement agencies around the country. It is hosted by ABC News chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams, who is joined by crime reporter Tom Morris Jr. and Sgt. Sean "Sticks" Larkin of the Tulsa Police Department Gane Unit as co-analysts.

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If Saturday's ratings are any indication, the show is well-placed to keep the hot streak going. It pulled ahead of two college basketball games on ESPN in the afternoon, as well as Sportscenter. It also beat out News coverage on Fox News and CNN, with a few Food Network programs and Adult Swim cartoons not far behind those.

Live P.D. airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.