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A&E Sues Reelz to Block ‘Live PD’ ‘Ripoff’ Series ‘On Patrol: Live’

Joshua Thiede

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery… unless it’s stealing the format of a cop show from A&E. The fine arts-focused channel is bringing suit against rival network Reelz for using the show “Live PD” as a blueprint for its new series “On Patrol: Live.” From using similar live ride-along footage to Dan Abrams’ hosting credit, A&E notes that these similarities make the Reelz program less of an homage and more of a ripoff.

A&E canceled its police-centered series in June 2020 during the height of protests surrounding the death of George Floyd. At about the same time, Fox’s OG in ride-along shows, “Cops,” also stopped production, but the series has made its way back to living rooms across America on Fox Nation. Reelz may be taking a cue from the studio as it attempts a somewhat under-the-radar release of “On Patrol: Live,” which has the same host, format, and catchphrases, and is even made by the same studio as its predecessor.

However, if Reelz was trying to be sneaky about its show’s mirrored format, having Abrams — who also serves as the producer for both “Live PD” and “On Patrol: Live” — tweet about how his new series is essentially a continuation of A&E’s doesn’t help their case. If the host himself is stating this is a return of “Live PD,” it’s hard to stand by the idea that this is a unique property.

While A&E admits that their series had been canceled, the cabler maintains that it never released the rights for others to pick up the property. After sending a cease and desist letter to Reelz, A&E decided to take further action after “On Patrol: Live” garnered 3.5 million views during its airing.

The lawsuit seeks to block further episodes from airing and seeks monetary damages for the offense. Reelz has yet to comment.

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