That’s a wrap, Live PD Nation. A&E cancelled Live PD, the No. 1 true crime series on cable. The network decided to end its highest-rated series in lieu of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
George Floyd’s death led to global outrage. This news also follows reports that a camera crew filmed the death of a black man in custody by Texas law enforcement. A representative for Live PD revealed that the footage has been destroyed. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Javier Ambler died in March 2019 while in custody by Williamson County Sherriff’s deputies in regard to a traffic violation.
A&E pulls the plug on Live PD
Per Entertainment Weekly, A&E cancelled its top-rated series in wake of recent protests. The network released a statement about its shocking decision on Wednesday, June 10. It also looks like a major shakeup is coming to the network. A&E producers want to find a new way to capture police and communities.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD,” A&E wrote. “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 the community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
This surprising move comes after Paramount Network cancelled the series Cops. The long-running series lasted 31 seasons. As TV Shows Ace previously reported, people took to Twitter to call for the cancellation of the show. Even civil rights advocacy organization, Color of Change, asked A&E to cancel Live PD.
“Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewer. Now it’s time for other networks to cancel similarly harmful shows,” the organization said in a statement. “We call on A&E to cancel Live PD next. In a moment when everyone wants to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, we must hold these companies accountable to put actions to words with a complete industry overhaul.”
This cancellation comes after Live PD made headlines for a March 2019 incident. The series filmed the death of a black man in police custody in Austin, Texas. The show’s representatives confirmed they destroyed the footage of 40-year-old Javier Ambler, who was tased four times after a police chase. A&E released a statement, defending its actions.
Host Dan Abrams teased the show’s return earlier today
A&E originally chose not to air new episodes of Live PD last weekend due to the nationwide protests. Even though the network didn’t reveal the fate of the show, host and executive producer Dan Abrams teased the show’s return on Twitter. He said to Live PD Nation that “to all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back… The answer is yes.” He also told viewers that “we are not abandoning you.”
To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back. . .The answer is yes. All of us associated with the show are as committed to it as ever. We are still discussing some specifics but I want to assure the #LivePDNation that we are not abandoning you.
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 10, 2020
Insiders told Variety that Abrams posted the tweet without the network’s permission. He later responded to the news of the cancellation. The attorney added that he is “Shocked & beyond disappointed” and he was “convinced the show would go on.” He also teased more details to come.
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. . More to come. . .https://t.co/WWh7fDrig2
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
The cancellation of Live PD was difficult for A&E. It took over the network since its premiere in October 2016. Back in April, the network renewed the show for another 160 episodes. A&E expanded the universe with spinoffs like Live PD Presents: PD Cam, Live Rescue, and Live PD: Wanted.
It’s unclear about the future of any of these spinoffs. Live PD became cable’s No. 1 show on Friday and Saturday nights in 2019. It helped A&E become a leading network in true crime. The series even rose to the top spots in cable during the coronavirus pandemic. It helped attract 3 million viewers per week.
What are your thoughts on A&E canceling Live PD? Sound off below in the comments section.