Following the killing of George Floyd, media companies and studios have been reevaluating the content they show to viewers. A&E, co-owned by the Walt Disney Co. and Hearst, made the decision to cancel one of their most popular shows: Live PD.
The show generated roughly 1.9 million weekly viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes, and aired reruns regularly throughout the week. In fact, Live PD and other shows in the Live PD universe that were cancelled (Live PD: Police Patrol, Live PD Presents: PD Cam) accounted for more than 85% of A&E’s daily programming.
According to Neilson, before A&E cancelled Live PD and other related shows, viewership was up 4% from the same period in 2019. Overall, since the show was pulled, A&E has seen viewership drop by 36%. Among ages 18-49, viewership is down 42%; among ages 25-54 it’s down 46%.
Despite the drop in viewers, A&E remains optimistic and told the Wall Street Journal that they expected a temporary ratings hit as a result of their programming cancellations.
When A&E chose to pull Live PD off the air, they said, “This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on ‘Live PD.’ 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.”
Are you glad Live PD is cancelled or do you wish A&E would bring it back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.