The documentary-style television shows shadowed police officers arresting suspects and going on calls.
Two police-centered reality TV shows have been issued cancellations by networks in the past week. The first to go was Cops. The long-running TV show was most recently aired on the Paramount Network and is known for its catchy theme song “Bad Boys.” Now the A&E Network has announced it will also cancel its police show Live PD.
The shows shadow police officers as they patrol cities and suburban areas, frequently documenting violent struggles between officers and suspects. Cops episodes were filmed and edited while Live PD featured some live police action. A statement from A&E Networks acknowledges that recent events relating to the death of George Floyd impacted their decision. Both shows were removed from program schedules days ahead of being canceled.
Cops began in 1990, originally airing on FOX. The show, which received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations and had high ratings, even as it moved into syndication, featured police departments all over the country, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. FOX canceled the show in 2013, and it was picked up by Spike TV, now known as the Paramount Network. Cops has been criticized for allowing police departments to have the final say on edits and pressuring suspects to sign releases.
I am going to finally go to sleep but I just want to say one more thing to the #LivePDNation. Thank you for making this so much more than a tv show. You created a huge community of kind, caring people with whom I hope to stay in touch with in this next chapter. More tomorrow. . .— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
The A&E Network temporarily pulled Live PD from the schedule on June 5, 2020. On June 9, host Dan Abrams told fans they wouldn’t abandon them and promised the show would return. It was canceled the next day.
But Live PD had controversy of its own. A crew was filming for the show when an African American man, Javier Ambler, was taken into custody by the sheriff’s department in Williamson County, Texas. Ambler died in custody, and investigators were unable to view the Live PD footage because it was destroyed.
What do you think of these two shows getting canceled? Was it the right move? Tell us in the comments!