With protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers still continuing across the country and around the globe, A&E has made the decision to shelve new episodes of Live PD that were scheduled for Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6 (Live Rescue will air instead). In addition, Paramount Network has decided to delay the 33rd season premiere of long-running reality series Cops. Originally set to return on Monday, June 8, the series will be replaced with an airing of Ghostbusters; with the series overall fate at the network still unclear. Andy Dehnart from Reality Blurred was the first to report Paramount's decision to shelve the Cops premiere; with Variety exclusive reporting.
While the Paramount Network did not have an official comment at the time of posting, A&E had this to say: "Out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives, in consultation with the departments we follow, and in consideration for the safety of all involved, we have made the decision not to broadcast 'Live PD' this weekend." Brought back in 2013, Cops would survive Spike TV's 2018 transition into the Paramount Network but has been under scrutiny lately for the way it's portrayed law enforcement. On the podcast Running from Cops, Dan Taberski examined hundreds of episodes of the series, detailing instances waiver coercion and how police officers and departments were allowed to have a say in editing to remove anything that would shine a negative light on law enforcement.
A&E has a slightly different relationship with Live PD. Premiering in 2016, the series has gone on to become the top-rated cable series on Friday and Saturday nights. Following police officers and sheriffs as they patrol their respective cities and counties across the country, viewers have taken to the show's live, real-time perspective, the series returned in April after a brief COVID-19-related production shutdown.