Two years after it canceled its "Live PD" reality show amid the police-reform protests of 2020, the parent company of A&E Network sued rival cable network Reelz, claiming its new show "On Patrol: Live" is nothing more than an unauthorized remake, the Wall Street Journal reports. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. A&E Television Networks said production company Big Fish Entertainment “created a clone of ‘Live PD’ featuring the same primary hosts, content, format, segments, and more,” and that Reelz aired the show over “repeated and vociferous objections” from A&E. While Reelz isn’t available in as many households as A&E, “On Patrol: Live” is averaging more than 1.1 million viewers per episode since its debut last month.
A Reelz representative said the network hadn’t been served with the suit or reviewed the complaint in detail and “thus has no comment at this time beyond denying liability and expressing its ongoing commitment to ‘On Patrol: Live.’” Although the shows have different names, A&E’s suit said Reelz and the producers, in promoting the debut of “On Patrol: Live,” “coordinated a multimedia blitz proclaiming ‘the return,’ ‘relaunch,’ and ‘revival’ of ‘Live PD.’" A&E said it was seeking “all profits defendants realized as a result of defendants’ unlawful acts complained of herein” as well as punitive and compensatory damages. "Live PD" followed police officers on the job in different cities. It was a hit for A&E from its launch in 2016, but the network canceled it during the George Floyd-related protests. The executive producer of that show and of the new Reelz show is Dan Abrams, who has said the show never should have been canceled.