One Year After ‘Live PD’ Cancellation, Has A&E Viewership Recovered?

A&E lost a ton of its “live” (plus same day) viewership after cancelling “Live P.D.” last year amid a firestorm over onscreen depictions of policing following the killing of George Floyd. Immediately after the network canceled “Live P.D.,” the cable channel’s primetime viewership declined 49% — or pretty much by half. That’s no surprise since at the time of its cancellation, “Live P.D.” was A&E’s highest-rated program and occupied multiple evenings on the schedule. Since then, things have been a bit better — but barely. For the recently ended second quarter of 2021, A&E was down 42% in total viewers from the same time in 2020, averaging 495,000 overall primetime audience members compared to 852,000 the year before. Those numbers, like all in this story, are according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day data, which we chose due to the dominant live viewership delivered by live show “Live P.D.” But the loss of that block of reality programming has delivered a big hit. The month before “Live PD” was canceled, May 2020, A&E ranked as the No. 8 ad-supported cable channel in total viewers. The month after cancellation, A&E sunk all the way to 20th. A&E has since sat as...

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