A&E Sues Reelz Over ‘Brazen Theft’ of ‘Live PD’

A&E Television Networks is suing Big Fish Entertainment, Half Moon Pictures and ReelzChannel for copyright infringement over their revival of “Live PD” as “On Patrol: Live.”

In a complaint obtained by TheWrap, A&E states that this case concerns “brazen theft of AETN’s intellectual property” by Big Fish, Half Moon and Reelz.

“Without any authorization from AETN, Big Fish (the show’s former producer) created a clone of “Live PD” featuring the same primary hosts, content, format, segments, and more, and sold that virtually identical show to REELZ, a cable network seeking its first breakout hit, which then aired the show over AETN’s repeated and vociferous objections,” the complaint continued.

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Reelz said in a statement it had not been served with nor had a chance to review the lawsuit in detail and “thus has no comment at this time beyond denying liability and expressing its ongoing commitment to ‘On Patrol: Live.'”

A&E’s complaint claims Reelz and other defendants did not “bring back” “Live PD,” but that they “co-opted AETN’s intellectual property.”

“On Patrol: Live” premiered July 22 on Reelz with returning anchor Dan Abrams. “Live PD” was canceled by A&E and producer Big Fish Entertainment in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd. “Live PD” premiered in 2016.

The plaintiff acknowledged the show’s cancellation as a suspension in June 2020, stating it “has never relinquished or assigned its rights to create episodes of ‘Live PD’ nor has it authorized anyone else to prepare derivative programs based upon ‘Live PD’ except as works made-for-hire.”

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The complaint says that Big Fish went forward with “cloning” the show despite objections from AETN in the form of cease-and-desist letters.

“Facing such a blatant rip-off, AETN brings this action against Defendants for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act and for trademark infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act and New York law,” the complaint states.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.