Remember way back in 2020, when Black Lives Matter managed to take a national crisis and make it a brand? They’re branding was so successful they somehow managed to simultaneously sell a billion dollars in merchandise while at the same time scaring corporations and tech companies into banning anything and everything that could possibly, maybe, sort of, in a way be connected to anything that could be labeled Racist™. There were many victims of the rush to Do Something™. Historical statues, churches and tv shows.
One such show was Live PD, the wildly popular reality show that followed police departments across the country live as they went about their days and evenings. The show was A&E’s top-rated show, drawing nearly 2.5 million viewers an episode. After the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, the mobs demanded the network end the show, calling it “insensitive” in the face of racially charged events and police brutality protests.
Host Dan Abrams said the move was frustrating at the time.
“I am frustrated and sad because I truly believed in the mission of the show to provide transparency in policing,” he said in an interview published on Thursday (June 11.) “I completely agree with advocates calling for more body cams on officers and more uniform rules for their use. It seems to me that the antidote to bad policing and officers is transparency and that means more body cams and more shows like Live PD.”
Paramount also cancelled the long-running show, Cops. The show was in its 30th year of broadcasting.
Audience demand continued anyway, and now Dan Abrams is back with a new show on Reelz, titled On Patrol:Live. If you can’t guess what it’s about, maybe A&E’s response will clue you in. They’re suing Reelz and the production company for replicating their idea.
A&E’s lawyers argue that the new show is infringing on its copyright to “Live PD.”
The complaint states that A&E suspended production of new episodes amid the George Floyd protests, which it calls “that critical time in our nation’s history.”
“AETN, however, has never relinquished or assigned its rights to create episodes of ‘Live PD’ nor has it authorized anyone else to prepare derivative programs based upon ‘Live PD’ except as works made-for-hire,” the complaint states.
In June, A&E lawyers sent a cease and desist request to the producers of the new show, but Reelz aired the show anyway. They pulled in 3.5 million viewers with the launch, which is likely to be one of the most successful ratings in the history of the third-tier cable network.
A&E is seeking an injunction on further episodes, noting that Abrams even used the title of the original series in a tweet while promoting the Reelz show.
For those who can’t get behind the paywall, the WSJ headline is “Live PD is coming back this summer as “On Patrol Live” @ReelzChannel. The show will be back on Friday and Saturday nights sometime later this summer! (And the name is a “working” title).
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 8, 2022
Given the incredible ratings for the “reboot” it doesn’t seem likely Reelz will give up the show without a fight. It’s also a potent sign that the tastes and sensitivities of the general American public have not changed, despite the caterwauling from the progressive mobs.