‘Live PD’ Fans Still Furious with A&E Over Cancellation

by Suzanne Halliburton

Live PD fans still want their favorite police reality show to come back, using A&E’s social media platforms for another series to voice their displeasure over the cancellation.

So on any platform hyping A&E’s Sexy Beasts, you’ll see complaints about Live PD.

“Looks like Live PD has to arrest this disgrace of a TV show,” one fan wrote.

Another wrote: “Got to give credit for you all keeping comments open for people to vent their frustrations. Too many organizations and people disable them to hide from any criticism. So thank you at least for that. Now when is Live PD coming back?

There’s no denying that series was a popular, albeit controversial reality show. A&E pulled the show last summer in the days after George Floyd’s death. A week after the show went on hiatus, the series was canceled. The reality show was the most popular program on A&E. And it also was the most-watched program on Friday nights on basic cable. Two months after the show’s cancellation, A&E began airing Live Rescue.

“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD.” A&E officials said in a statement. “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. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”

At about the same time, Paramount also canceled the reality show, Cops.

A&E Lost Half Its Viewership After Pulling Live PD

The Wall Street Journal reported that A&E had lost more than half of its prime-time viewership after canceling the show. Dan Abrams, the show’s host, hinted in a social media post that he’d like to see the show return.

Live PD ran on A&E from 2016-20. It was intended to make police work more transparent, with cops allowing cameras to trail them as they go about their work. The show featured footage from law enforcement units across the country.

However, back in 2019, deputies from Williamson County in suburban Austin, TX, chased a driver who failed to dim his lights. The deputies chased Javier Ambler for 22 minutes as a Live PD crew filmed it. Ambler, 40, died after deputies shot him, repeatedly, with stun guns. Ambler told deputies he couldn’t breathe and that he was sick.

Live PD never aired the footage. And it was destroyed after an initial police investigation. Details never were reported publicly until June 2020.

Last September, Robert Chody, the Williamson County sheriff, was indicted for evidence tampering. He was the person responsible for bringing Live PD to the area. Two of his deputies were indicted for second-degree manslaughter in April. The Austin American-Statesman reported that pursuits by Williamson County sheriff’s deputies increased by 54 percent after the department agreed to the deal with Live PD.

The Live PD fans were adamant that they wanted the show’s return.

One wrote: “Bring back Live PD and throw this (Sexy Beast) away.”