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Series / Live PD

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Live PD was an A&E series involving the live, televised exploits of police officers in the course of their nighttime patrols and even getting to show select encounters with the public. The series was hosted by Dan Abrams with analysis provided by Tom Morris Jr. and Sgt. Sean "Sticks" Larkin.

The series is also notable as it managed to spawn several spinoffs (7 of which aired over in the course of just a year) resulting in a total of 10 spinoffs by the beginning of 2020, quickly becoming a Cash Cow Franchise for A&E. However, the show and its spinoffs (save Live Rescue) were canceled in June 2020 after the George Floyd protests, as well as allegations that the producers were withholding footage of police allegedly tasering a suspect to death.


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We would like to ask for Live PD Nation's assistance in covering these tropes:

  • Action Prologue: Even before the title sequence, the live broadcast will start with police activity in progress, usually a car chase either live or captured on camera prior to airtime.
  • Boring, but Practical: Small off-road vehicles like dirt bikes and ATVs for suspects; these are the vehicles that give the officers the most trouble, as despite their low speed, they can easily navigate off roads into areas where police cars cannot follow.
  • Broadcast Live / Live Episode: Every single episode.
  • Car Meets House: Happens in one episode, but fortunately there are no injuries.
  • Downer Ending: When a suspect successfully escapes a pursuit, or when officers and first responders can't save the life of an overdose victim.
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  • Fan Community Nickname: Live PD Nation
  • Flashback: During dead periods of action, they will cut to a more engaging sequence that was captured earlier while filming but had yet to air.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: A common tactic of criminality; for instance, it's not uncommon for a vehicle to get pulled over, comply, but then hightail it as soon as the cop leaves his car, giving the perpetrator a head start.
  • No Ending: The show will end abruptly when it hits its three-hour mark, even if police activity on camera is in progress.
  • No Fourth Wall: The officers will often explain to the camera and audience what charges or action were taken against the suspect; the show is also so widespread popular that suspects and bystanders will even recognize that they are on Live PD.
  • Pixelation: Used extensively on reairings to protect the identities of suspects and other individuals.
    • Occasionally Played for Laughs, an example of which is seen in the “Obama is not a Month” clip, where the arriving Paramedics are also censored, but you can still clearly see their agape expressions as the suspect repeatedly reaffirms that the month (and year) are indeed, “Obama”.
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  • Previously On…: Each episode has an opening credits sequence that is a highlight reel of the previous episode's activity.
  • Pop the Tires: Many vehicular pursuits are ended with the use of spike strips.
  • Room Disservice: In one clip, the cops pose as housekeeping staff to convince a subject who is holed up in a motel room to open the door. They even go as far as to borrow the motel's cleaning cart to sell the ruse.
  • Spinoff: Almost a dozen different spinoffs have been made.
    • Live PD Rewind: consists of previous episodes that have been condensed down to an hour.
    • Live PD: Police Patrol: A half-hour unhosted series that features unaired footage from previous episodes.
    • Live PD: Roll Call: Airing sixty minutes to a new episode the show features a preview clip and interviews with departments that will be on the show.
    • Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol: A series focusing on female police officers doing their regular activity.
    • Live PD Presents: PD Cam: Features event from regular episodes captured by body cams, helicopter cams, and other surveillance cams.
    • PD Stories Podcast: An online podcast where Tom Morris Jr. interviews officers from departments seen on the show about what happens behind the scenes.
    • Live Rescue: Features a similar format to the main show but runs with fire fighters, EMS, and rescue squads rather than police.
      • Live Rescue: Rewind: Similar format to Live PD Rewind, consisting of Live Rescue episodes that are condensed down to an hour.
      • Live Rescue: Emergency Response: Emergency first responders from across the United States respond to a wide variety of situations from car accidents to structure fires, medical emergencies and more.
    • America's Top Dog: K9 officers in training compete in a contest with their trainers to become "Top Dog"
    • Live PD: Wanted: Law enforcement agencies give profiles on dangerous fugitives they are pursuing.
    • Court Cam: Features the review of courtroom videos where an individual became out of control.
    • Alaska PD: Focuses exclusively on police in the state of Alaska.
  • Spiritual Successor: The main show to COPS, Live Rescue to Rescue 911, Live PD: Wanted to America's Most Wanted, and America's Top Dog to the failed pilot Think Like a Cat.
  • The Stoic: All of the hosts.
    • Deadpan Snarker: The hosts of the main show, Abrams, Larkin, and Morris do have their moments.
  • This Is My Side: In one clip, officers attend the residence of a divorced couple who share a house with a line separating their respective halves of the house. According to the officers, one of them calls the police any time the other violates the "my side of the house" rule.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: Happens in the clip where a suspect flees in a small school bus.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: One person tells their girlfriend over the phone that they've been shot, prompting a call to police. After stopping the vehicle he is riding in and extracting him at gunpoint, it's discovered that it was a ruse to convince his girlfriend to come over to see him.


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