“Live PD: Special Edition” will air for one hour on Friday night, as well as for two hours on Saturday night, both at 9 p.m. ET, in place of normal three-hour “Live PD” episodes.
“Live PD” had been on a previously planned hiatus over the past three weeks; this represents the show’s first return since much of the nation began practicing stay-at-home measures. The special edition will feature interviews with medical authorities and testimonials from law enforcement and government officials, and include reports from hospitals. The special editions will also look at those community members who are serving on the front line of the pandemic, including EMTs in New Orleans.
“These special editions of ‘Live PD’ will deliver a unique point of view and invaluable perspective that isn’t being heard anywhere else on television during this worldwide crisis,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, A&E executive VP and head of programming. “Through first-hand accounts from the front lines and stories of true citizen heroes, the series will continue to serve the audience valuable information that we hope will aid in keeping everyone healthy and safe. Our thoughts are with everyone during this uncertain time.”
The shows will also include public service announcements benefitting the First Responders Children’s Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, which provides support to first responder families who are enduring financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak. A&E is also sharing information and resources about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis including PSAs with talent using the hashtags #WeAreHereWithYou and #FirstRespondersStrong.
“Live PD: Special Edition” will not adhere to the show’s normal format. Host Dan Abrams and analysts Tom Morris Jr. and Sgt. Sean ‘Sticks’ Larkin will appear in both “Live PD: Special Edition” episodes from their respective homes, as will the majority of the crew. According to A&E, a limited production team will follow all applicable federal, state and local directives.
“At its core, ‘Live PD’ illuminates through a transparent lens the critical work of first responders,” said Dan Cesareo, president of Big Fish Entertainment, which produces “Live PD.” “We are all witnessing and experiencing how COVID-19 is affecting and upending daily life and so, along with our partners at A&E, are extremely gratified to be able to bring these important stories of first responders to bear.”
“Live PD” has been a tremendous hit for A&E since its premiere in October 2016. The show follows cops and sheriffs — live, in real time, as they patrol various cities and counties across the country. As it turned into a sensation, A&E kept expanding the show’s footprint; it’s now the No. 1 series on cable on Friday and Saturday nights.
Beyond this weekend, it’s unclear how or when “Live PD” will continue, but it will likely be back with a reduced crew and a revised schedule to focus on its usual subjects in addition to coronavirus response.
Among other shows on A&E, most of the network’s schedule hasn’t been impacted by production stoppage. “First 48” had already been completed, while a full season of “Intervention” is already done, although production on the following season has been postponed. “60 Days In” hadn’t yet started production on its following season, so that has been put on hold as well.