Cable television ratings for A&E Network have plummeted since it canceled the hit police reality show, “Live PD” on June 10, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Following the death of George Floyd and riots led by “Black Lives Matter” across the country, A&E Network capitulated to demands to cancel the law enforcement show saying in a statement:
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD. Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
The woke move turned out to be a devastating financial mistake. Average prime-time viewership for A&E between June 11 and July 19 of this year was 498,000 people, which is down 49 percent from the same period last year. Additionally, for key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54, the declines are 55 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Before A&E pulled the show, its prime-time viewership was up 4 percent from the same period in 2019.
Ironically, the show promoted police transparency, one of the reforms championed by BLM and others, by following officers on their rounds in cities across the country. “Live PD” averaged about 1.9 million viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes and re-aired episodes on other days. It inspired several successful spinoff shows, which A&E also canceled.
When you include the now-canceled sister shows of Live PD, “Live PD: Police Patrol” and “Live PD Presents: PD Cam,” the Live PD universe accounted for more than 85 percent of A&E’s daily programming.
In 2019, the “Live PD” empire brought in $292.6 million in advertising, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media. For the first quarter of 2020, the programs sold $95.8 million in advertising.
A&E told the Journal they expected this “temporary hit in the ratings” given the success of “Live PD” and that it has been mostly replaced by reruns. The network expressed its confidence in being able to “find new hits and reinvent ourselves.”
“Live PD” fans, self-named “Live PD Nation,” have been actively encouraging a boycott of A&E until “Live PD” and it’s spin-offs return to the network.
Last month, Paramount Network canceled “Cops,” another police reality show following officers. There are even cries to cancel “Paw Patrol”, one of the most popular kids cartoons of our day, a show about six pups including Chase, a German Shepherd police dog. The show’s intent, according to Nickelodeon, is to promote safety, heroism, and show children what it’s like to work together with a team. However, critics expressed concern about the positive image of law enforcement projected by the kids animated series.
Networks and production companies have become hyper-aware of their portrayal of law enforcement since the BLM riots. Media reinforcing positive perceptions of law enforcement are now seen as dangerous by the woke leftist mob’s narrative of systemic racism, particularly regarding criminal justice.
The movement to defund and even abolish police departments has gone from a radical, fringe idea to a culturally acceptable, if not mainstream idea in progressive cities and in the Democratic party.