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2 Years After Cancellation, Live PD Is Returning To TV With New Name And New Network

Dan Abrams in Live PD: After Action Report
(Image credit: A&E)

A lot of cancelled TV shows lay in the wake of May 2022, giving fans of shows like Magnum P.I. the challenge of trying to convince other networks and platforms to revive them. For everyone who’s spent the past two years hoping for the cable hit Live PD to find new life can now rejoice, for the most part, as the format has essentially been revived under a new name, and on a channel different from its pre-cancellation home at A&E. Mark your calendars for the impending arrival of On Patrol: Live, which will premiere later this summer on REELZ. 

For what it’s worth, On Patrol: Live is just a working title at the moment, and could very well change before the series actually goes live on REELZ. But even though that detail and the network are different, Live PD fans will still see some familiar faces in the form of ABC News’ Dan Abrams front and center (at least in the studio segments) as the host of the new-ish project, along with Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin, the retired Tulsa PD vet who has long provided key insights into the legal and authoritative side of things. 

The plan is for On Patrol: Live to take over audiences for summer weekends, with REELZ set to air big blocks of new episodes on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET and ending at 12:00 a.m. ET. With the on-set coverage being broadcast live, Dan Abrams and Sgt. Sticks Larkin will be joined by Deputy Sheriff Curtis Wilson — the Division Commander for the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. in Columbia, South Carolina — to provide minute-to-minute analysis and context to the footage of police officers on patrol in a variety of different and diverse departments across the country. 

That’s a whole lot of live policing to follow, and you can bet viewers will be happy to do it, too. Especially considering how many people regularly watched Live PD and its various spinoffs and companion series on A&E during the flagship’s four-year stretch. According to reports from the summer that Live PD was cancelled, the cable channel lost nearly half of its viewership once the eps stopped airing.

Here’s what Dan Abrams himself had to say about the upcoming series:

Law enforcement is front and center in the national discussion, and our hope is that showing the work of police officers in a live format will provide viewers with direct access to the work they do. I’m thrilled ourteam is finally back together and excited that REELZ has committed to making this show front and center on their network.

On Patrol: Live will be produced by Half Moon Pictures, a newer banner company geared specifically to investigative content from Live PD production company Big Fish Entertainment. The pick-up is somewhat reflective of Fox Nation reviving COPS in September 2021 a year after it was cancelled by Paramount Network. 

Both Live PD and COPS were cancelled in the same timeframe, which was in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in June 2020. In both cases, episodes were pulled from airing ahead of outright cancellations, though Live PD’s situation was more complicated. A month prior, A&E had ordered an additional 160 new episodes of Live PD, but the show sparked a backlash after it was revealed that footage had intentionally been destroyed in relation to the police-involved killing of Texas resident Javier Ambler in March 2019. The Williamson County Sheriff at the time, Robert Chody, was indicted and arrested over the incident (once in September 2020, with a second indictment happening in April 2021), as were two of his former deputies.

So it's easy to understand why all involved wanted to get away from the Live PD branding ahead of making a TV return. Stay tuned for a more precise debut date on REELZ, but check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.