Numbers Show Dropping 'Live PD' Has Been a Total Disaster for A&E


A&E Networks has seen a significant ratings drop ever since it canceled the police reality show “Live PD” on June 10 in response to the protests surrounding George Floyd’s death.

Between June 11 and July 19, the network’s average prime-time viewership was down 49 percent from the same period last year, with 498,000 people tuning in, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from Nielsen.

Ratings also declined for the key demographics of adults ages 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, with viewership down 55 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

A&E told The Wall Street Journal that it was a “temporary hit in the ratings” and that the network has always been able to “find new hits and reinvent ourselves.”

“Live PD” followed police officers on their rounds in multiple cities and averaged about 1.9 million viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes.

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The show also had a segment dedicated to finding missing children, and over 50 were found.

Sister shows spawned off of “Live PD,” including “Live PD: Police Patrol” and “Live PD Presents: PD Cam.”

Before the “Live PD” world was pulled off the network, the shows accounted for over 85 percent of the network’s daily programming during some weeks.

The ratings plummet expanded into daily average viewership, which is down 36 percent from last year to 319,000 viewers.

Do you think A&E should put "Live PD" back on the air?

In the key demographics, ratings are down 42 percent among the 18-49 age group and down 46 percent in the 25-54 age group.

“Live PD Nation,” the franchise’s fans, has called for a boycott of the network until “Live PD” is returned to the air. A&E hasn’t ruled out that option yet.

“We are continuing to listen to both community leaders and ‘Live PD’ fans to find a way to serve both moving forward,” A&E said.

“Live PD” and its sister shows were canceled following Floyd’s death on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.

“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, according to The Associated Press.

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“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.”

A similar show on the Paramount Network, “Cops,” was also pulled from the air after 33 seasons following Floyd’s death and amid the protests that erupted across the country, the AP reported.

“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement announcing the decision on June 9.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith