The ongoing saga of Live PD was brought back into the spotlight on Tuesday when host Dan Abrams posted a vaguely hopeful message about the show's possible return. The reality series, which followed police on patrol, was taken off the air in the wake of ongoing civil rights protests calling for an end to police brutality.
Live PD initially premiered on Oct. 28, 2016, with an initial order of only four two-hour episodes. By the following February, A&E announced that the season would be expanded to 21 installments, eventually concluding on Aug. 19, 2017. Season 2 premiered just a month later and ended in August 2018. Season 3 premiered again the following month, which is also when A&E renewed the series for an additional 150 episodes, which ran through 2019. Season 4 premiered in September 2019 and renewed for a whopping 160 episodes in May.
However, A&E canceled the series on June 10, 2020. It followed Cops, another reality series with a similar format, which had a whopping 33 seasons on the air. While the cancellation didn't sit well at first, there's an indication that it could be revamping its format.
On June 10, A&E said that due to the "critical time in our nation's history," it made a "decision to cease production on Live PD." While it wasn't outright canceled, the network wrote that "going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them." It added that they would be "meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments" to help accomplish them.prevnext
Once the news about Live PD spread, the hashtag "Boycott A&E" began to trend on Twitter, generating thousands of tweets from those planning to ban the network in their household. There were also a few supporters of the decision, as well.prevnext
Javier Ambler Footage
While the protests, which were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, inspired much of Hollywood to reassess its complicated relationship with law enforcement, Live PD had another issue to deal with. The show had footage of the death of Javier Ambler, a Black man who was killed in police custody after repeatedly being tased and telling officers "I can't breathe." However, it destroyed the footage, which it later claimed to be part of the show's routine. Abrams also admitted that it wasn't the best decision for the show to do so.prevnext
A Possible Return
To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back. . .The answer is yes. All of us associated with the show are as committed to it as ever. We are still discussing some specifics but I want to assure the #LivePDNation that we are not abandoning you.— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 10, 2020
Not long after A&E released its statement, Abrams assured fans that the show would return, tweeting firmly that "the answer is yes" to that particular question. The host went on to say that he and the rest of the show's team are "committed" to bringing the show back, and that the "specifics" of how the show will come back are still being discussed while making it clear that they were "not abandoning" the Live PD Nation.prevnext
I think A&E is doing what they said in their initial announcement, determining if there’s a “pathway” forward. I hope so and think with some changes it could be an important part of the national discussion. (In the meantime, I’ll have some other non-livepd show news tomorrow) https://t.co/u7coUtVfpE— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) July 6, 2020
Abrams' tweet on Monday seemed to inspire hope among the show's audience, indicating that A&E was reevaluating the program in a changing world. It will join scripted series like Law & Order and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which are reportedly adopting their fictional stories as well.prevnext