'Live PD' returning as 'On Patrol: Live' on Reelz, hosted by Dan Abrams
"Live PD," the popular police reality series on A&E that was canceled in 2020 amid protests inspired by the death of George Floyd, is being revived this summer with the same host — but with a few changes.
The new live police show, called "On Patrol: Live," will air on Friday and Saturday nights on the Reelz cable network. Dan Abrams, who hosted "Live PD" during its run on A&E, announced Wednesday that he will once again host and serve as executive producer for the new show.
"First, I want to say thank you to the ‘Live PD’ nation. I know this wait was long, but we needed the right platform to make this show what it should be," said Abrams during his "Dan Abrams Live" show on NewsNation.
"As many of you know, I have been advocating for this show to return since the day it went off of the air," he added.
"Live PD" was canceled by A&E in June 2020 following weeks of protests over Floyd’s death at the hands of police Officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a larger national reckoning over race and policing. The show’s end also came on the heels of a report that a crew from the show filmed the death of another Black man in police custody.
"This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD," A&E said in a statement at the time. "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."
Reports from the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV said that 40-year-old Javier Ambler, who was Black, died in Texas in 2019 after sheriff’s deputies repeatedly used stun guns on him, despite his cries for help and pleas that he was sick and couldn’t breathe. The arrest was captured on police body-camera video.
Prosecutors investigating Ambler’s death said the presence of the "Live PD" crew made the arrest particularly troubling. A&E said in a previous statement that its video never aired because of a policy against showing a death, and it did not keep the footage after it was informed the initial investigation had closed.
A&E said neither the network nor the show’s producers "were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office."
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At the time, "Live PD" was "a ratings juggernaut" for the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet noted how the network had ordered an additional 160 episodes of the series just two months before it was canceled.
FILE - "Live PD" set on Oct. 21, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)
The end of "Live PD" also came a day after the similar show "Cops," on the air for 33 seasons, was dropped by the Paramount Network.
Following the cancellation, Abrams continued to express a desire to bring the live show back. In 2021, he noted in a blog post that "no one was more disappointed or frustrated when Live PD was taken off the air than me."
"With policing in the news more than ever, I believe showing America the more day-to-day aspects of what it’s like to be a police officer in this country is more important than ever," Abrams wrote.
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What we know about ‘On Patrol: Live’
In his announcement this week, Abrams said Sgt. Sean "Sticks" Larkin, a retired Tulsa Police Department lieutenant with nearly 25 years of service, will also appear on the new "On Patrol: Live" show.
Deputy Sheriff Curtis Wilson, a division commander with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in Columbia, South Carolina, and TV anchor, will also serve as a show commentator.
Abrams said the new show will feature civilian ride-alongs and new police departments. It is set to air this summer.
"In most ways, it is going to be a very similar type of show to the one that existed previously," Abrams told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I do think the environment has changed [since Live PD was canceled], but I don’t think that should have determined whether Live PD, or a show like it, what is now being called On Patrol: Live, should be on the air," Abrams continued. "I think the more we talk about policing, the more we should want to watch police officers doing what they do. There was a conversation then about policing, there is a conversation now about policing, and as a result, I think it is a good thing to have a lens on police departments."
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.