‘Live PD’ Was A&E’s Top-Rated Show Before Abrupt Cancellation

Reid Nakamura

A&E’s decision on Wednesday to cancel “Live PD” amid a firestorm over its handling of footage of the 2019 death of a suspect in the custody of Texas police officers was a surprising — especially since up until Wednesday the the 4-year-old reality show was the cable network’s top-rated show. The show, co-hosted and co-executive produced by ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams frequently topped all of cable in its Saturday night timeslot, with a Friday installment last year hitting a series high of 2.4 million total viewers. A&E’s commitment to “Live PD” was such that renewals often came with hefty episode orders to fill the show’s year-round, twice-weekly schedule. As recently as last month, the network commissioned 160 additional episodes of “Live PD,” which have now been scrapped. Also Read: 'Live P.D.' Canceled at A&E After Network Admits Show Filmed In-Custody Death, Destroyed Footage One individual with knowledge described “Live PD” as a “multimillion-dollar franchise” — and the success wasn’t limited to one program. Repackaged footage from “Live P.D.” was often broadcast under a number of other spinoff titles, including “Live PD: Rewind,” “Live PD: Police Patrol” and “Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol.” “Live Rescue,” a spinoff centered on...

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