New details are emerging about why A&E executives decided to cancel the police series. There remains a possibility that it could return at a new home, but nothing has materialized yet. Variety reports that insiders believe the entire situation was made more tricky by Paramount Network’s decision to cancel COPS. Also complicating the question for the company was the dead of Javier Ambler in Austin, Texas. The show captured his death on-air but erased it for the A&E show. This was an internal decision by the network according to Variety’s report and one that they struggled with. Paul Buccieri is the president of A&E, and he made the decision along with Disney/ABC Television Group and Hearst Communications.
They thought that it was a bit strange to see Live PD considered to be the same as COPS. All of these factors exist in addition to host Dan Abrams firing off a number of tweets in response to the cancellation. He also decided to talk about it on his SiriusXM show.
“There’s a real positive change in many ways going on in this country, but there’s also an overreaction going on. And I think that that’s what ‘Live PD’ suffered from,” he offered on The Dan Abrams Show.
Of course, the host also clarified that LivePD has filmed several deaths over the course of its run. But, the show opted to ease them all. (It is important to note that all of these did not actually involve the police shooting. Clarifications cited drug overdoses or people who had already been shot when police arrived.) Abrams talked about it on CNN recently.
“Per A&E policy, we don’t show fatalities,” he explained. “I think one of the great things about ‘Live PD’ was the transparency aspect. Showing the good and the bad of policing. With that in mind, I think in retrospect we should have shown this [Ambler] incident, leading up to the fatality. It shows all sides of policing. There was a decision that was made simply based on A&E policy, about not showing a fatality. These are the sorts of things we were in the process of discussing. How do we move forward, how do we have discussions with people in various communities who aren’t happy with certain elements. Let’s talk about how we can make changes, how we can make this a better show.”
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