It’s the No. 1 cable show on Friday and Saturday nights. It even tops some network programming in total viewers and the coveted 18-49 demo. It’s a social media phenomenon, trending during every broadcast. It’s the “COPS” of this generation with couple of a big twists.
This… is “Live PD”.
A&E’s hit reality/crime series debuted nearly two years ago, on October 28, 2016. It originally just aired on Fridays, but after only a handful of episodes, the show expanded to Friday and Saturday nights. It quickly climbed up the ratings charts, going from 800,000 viewers on night one to 2.1 million on July 15, 2017. In the 15 months since, “Live PD” has consistently brought-in between 1.8 and 2.2 million viewers per episode. That statement alone proves that “Live PD” has a loyal fanbase.
If you’ve never checked it out… what are you waiting for? The show follows police officers in various cities around the country as they do their jobs: taking down criminals on foot and in car chases, catching shoplifters and making routine traffic stops. And thanks to “more than 30 cameras following the action”, as host Dan Abrams puts it, it’s all LIVE.
Abrams, the legal analyst for ABC, is the ringmaster of this 3-hour, unpredictable rollercoaster ride. Alongside him are regulars Tom Morris, Jr., a former Washington DC journalist, and Sean ‘Sticks’ Larkin, a Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer turned overnight TV star. Together they analyze the sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic interactions between officers and the public.
“Live PD” also devotes time for “WANTED” and “MISSING” segments, where the show asks for viewers’ help to find wanted criminals and missing children. And as Abrams also says, “Live PD Nation, you’ve come through for us.”
You see, there are a lot of catchphrases on this show, like “We want to show you what happened earlier”. That’s what Abrams says before tossing it to a pre-packaged piece on something that happened in a department earlier in the day or week. Another popular one: “Not my pants”… based on an encounter where a guy admitted to an officer that the pants he was wearing… weren’t his. And from Morris, Jr.: “You just don’t know what’s gonna happen next.” And he’s exactly right.
I recently met the on-air “Live PD” trio at the A&E headquarters in New York City. Abrams, who looked laser-focused on putting on another great show, told me how pleased he is with how everything is going. Morris, Jr. says his two-decades on the DC correspondent beat helped prepare him for feeling natural on TV.
And as for Larkin, “I thought I was just gonna be a police officer for 35 years”. He flies from OK to NYC every Thursday. And because of his work on “Live PD”, he got his own A&E police footage show, “PD CAM”, which kicks-off Season 2 on November 1st. Larkin just taped all eight episodes and says he’s getting much more comfortable reading off the teleprompter.
Larkin also told me that the night before we met, he and Morris, Jr. talked about where they were two years ago and how their lives have drastically changed ever since.
“Live PD” is, without question, the show of the moment. So get in on the action this Friday & Saturday night at 9pmET. And if you’re on social media, don’t forget to use #LivePDNation. Your tweet might even be shared LIVE on air.