A&E Network has decided to cancel Live P.D. amid the nationwide protests against police brutality. In a statement given to ET, the network says it will cease production and try to find ways to better tell the stories of the community and police officers.
"This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live P.D. 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," the statement reads. "And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments."
Following the news, Live P.D. host Dan Abrams tweeted: "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."
Live P.D., which airs live Friday and Saturday nights, follows police officers in real time as they patrol cities across the country. A&E's top-rated program premiered in October 2016 and has run for a total of four seasons. The latest season debuted in September 2019. It had just been renewed for an additional 166 episodes in May 2020.
The news comes a day after Paramount Network also permanently pulled the plug on the long-running true crime reality show Cops. Following George Floyd's tragic death, protests have been happening nationwide, as well as in numerous countries around the world, to stop police brutality and systemic racism.
Additionally, there has also been a growing discussion about how cops are portrayed on TV. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Warren Leight recently addressed some of those issues, saying that the long-running NBC drama will tackle what’s happening now, but will also look at how it's showcasing law enforcement and the criminal justice system moving forward.
Leight told The Hollywood Reporter podcast TV’s Top 5 that Floyd’s death “has to come up and it will,” explaining that they’ll tackle related issues from all sides.
“There are ways, we will find our way in to tell the story. Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it’s going to be harder for them and they’re going to understand why it’s hard for them,” he says of the squad facing an understandably untrusting public when it comes to day-to-day cases.
ET recently spoke with series star Ice-T, who opened up about the show's decision to deal with Floyd's death.
"This one was just too brutal," the actor shared. "This is what they call a tipping point. This is a point where people go, 'Enough!' This is a battle for humanity and human rights, it's not black and white people fighting, you know."
According to Ice-T, the SVU writers have been "touched by this" incident, and he thinks their emotional connection to it "is going to show up in their writing."
See more in the video below.