10:30am PT by Rick Porter
'Live PD' Rescue Spinoff Ordered at A&E
A&E is building on its popular Live PD franchise with a spinoff focusing on rescue calls.
The cabler has ordered eight two-hour episodes of Live Rescue, which like Live PD will follow first responders from across the U.S. Instead of police calls, however, the new show will focus on emergency rescue calls.
Big Fish Entertainment, the MGM company behind Live PD, will produce Live Rescue as well. Journalist Ashleigh Banfield will serve as host for the series, which is set to premiere April 22.
"Live Rescue is the next incarnation of our groundbreaking partnership with Big Fish Entertainment, following the brave paramedics and first responders who risk their lives every day to keep us safe despite the challenges of their jobs," said Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive vp and head of programming at A&E. "The team at Big Fish has assembled a best-in-class production team of broadcast news veterans, and we are looking forward to adding Live Rescue to the A&E portfolio of brave storytelling."
Since its premiere in 2016, Live PD has been one of A&E's top-rated series. The three-hour show, airing Friday and Saturday nights, ranks No. 1 among all cable series on those nights in adults 18-49 and 25-54.
A&E ordered 150 more episodes — 450 hours' worth of programming — of Live PD last September, taking the show through 2019. It also airs the spinoffs Live PD: Police Patrol (half-hour episodes with unaired footage and highlights from past episodes) and Live PD Presents: PD Cam (half-hours hosted by Live PD's Sean "Sticks" Larkin and featuring footage from police and surveillance cameras).