A&E’s reported its hit reality crime series, ‘Live PD,’ is the latest of its ilk to hit the chopping block amid nationwide protests against police brutality.
After vowing to cease production to find better ways to tell the stories of the community and police officers, the network issued a statement to announce ousting the show from its roster.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live P.D. 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,” the statement reads. “And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
The move – particularly surprising given that it is A&E’s top-rated program and was just renewed for 166 more episodes after a successful four season run – was met with mixed reactions from the show’s creators and fans.
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Taking to Twitter, ‘Live PD’ host Dan Abrams said:
“Shocked & beyond disappointed about this. To the loyal #LivePDNation please know I, we, did everything we could to fight for you, and for our continuing effort at transparency in policing. I was convinced the show would go on.”
The cancellation happens amid controversy that ‘Live PD’ is withholding footage that depicts a Black man dying while in police custody. In response to the growing hoopla, the network issued a statement.
“Immediately after the incident, the Austin Police Department conducted an investigation using the body cam footage they had from the officers. 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.” [source]
Abrams’ disappointment was also echoed by fans of the longtime running reality crime series, ‘Cops.’
After enjoying a nearly three-decade run on television across FOX, SpikeTV, and the Paramount Network, the series had its plug pulled.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson confirmed. [source]
Again, a shocking move considering ‘Cops’ has aired over 1,100 episodes to date and was set to premiere its 33rd season Monday (June 15).
The axings may see more crime-related dramas follow suit in the wake of ongoing protests following the tragic, police brutality-incited death of George Floyd.