The revival of Live PD is a potentially dangerous reality TV backslide
The police-embedded reality series, arguably one of the most
irreponsible on TV, will return two years after it was cancelled with a cloud of concern
There was a window in the summer of 2020 for once unthinkable, and unlikely, progress.
This included the cancellation of Cops and Live PD, two reality shows embedded with law enforcement that
sourced footage of real people in real arrests to valorize police and mock their targets.
In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, the shows’ networks,
Paramount and A&E, responded to pressure to reckon with television’s role in producing so-called copaganda.
It was a long overdue move given that Cops, the longest-running reality show in history which could air as many as 69 times a
week in syndication, cemented the influential archetype of police as hard-charging, swash-buckling.