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A&E is placing a big bet on Live PD.
The police-centered docuseries has been picked up for 100 more three-hour episodes, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. That accounts for 300 more hours of programming and will keep the series on the air through at least 2018 and 142 episodes.
The project was ordered to series in October 2016 following dozens of highly publicized police shootings of unarmed men across the country — many of which led to protests and civil unrest.
Live PD attempts to showcase the policing of America, following diverse police departments from across the country in real time as they patrol their communities. Using dash cams along with fixed rig and handheld cameras, the series captures the work of a mix of urban and rural police forces on a typical Friday and Saturday night.
Host and legal expert Dan Abrams, along with former police officer and longtime America’s Most Wanted correspondent Tom Morris Jr., guides viewers through the night giving insight into what audiences are seeing in real time, bouncing between the featured police departments and offering an inside look at each live episode. Law enforcement officers from the series also appear in-studio as guest analysts to provide additional commentary.
Airing Friday and Saturday nights, Live PD has seen viewership rise 92 percent since its October 2016 launch. The series currently averages 1.4 million viewers with seven days of delayed viewing factored in. The additional episode order comes weeks after Live PD hit a series high viewership of 1.6 million.
Subsequently, A&E is in its fourth consecutive month of ratings growth and ranked eighth among all ad-supported cable networks in the adults ages 18-49 range in June.
In addition to Live PD‘s recent ratings success, the supersized episode order comes as A&E returns its focus strictly to unscripted programming, following the end of acclaimed scripted drama Bates Motel in April after its five-year run.
“Live PD is emblematic of the type of groundbreaking nonfiction content A&E is committed to delivering to our viewers, and the outstanding success of the series has been a key contributor to the growth of the network at a time when the industry at large continues to experience viewership erosion,” said A&E head of programming Elaine Frontain Bryant. “We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the team at Big Fish, our host Dan Abrams, our analyst Tom Morris Jr., our studio and field crew across the country, as well as the communities and law enforcement agencies who have opened their doors to our viewers for an unfettered glimpse of the policing of America.”
Live PD hails from Big Fish Entertainment. Dan Cesareo, David Doss, George McTeague, Kara Kurcz and John Zito exec produce for Big Fish, along with Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Sean Gottlieb for A&E Network. A+E Networks handles worldwide distribution rights for Live PD.
“The success of Live PD is a testament to the incredible collaboration, dedication and boldness everyone involved has brought to the table,” said Cesareo, president and founder of Big Fish Entertainment. “We’re grateful to A&E for giving us the opportunity to continue to bring unprecedented access in policing to viewers in this way, and to the entire production team who go above and beyond to make each episode the ultimate ride-along.”
Live PD airs Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. on A&E.
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