A + E Networks’ Rob Sharenow on Finding a ‘Live PD’ Replacement

In June, A&E canceled its flagship series PD live following the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests against police brutality.

The cancellation came a month after the network renewed the show for 160 more episodes. Live PD, which aired Friday and Saturday evenings from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, was one of the top-rated shows on basic cable.

One of the challenges right now for A&E and parent company A + E Networks is how to replace a show that has been on the show for so many hours.

A + E Networks Programming President Rob Sharenow unveiled the decision-making process in a virtual session of the Edinburgh International Television Festival hosted by Deadline.

“It was definitely a tough time for the brand, for our country, for the network but A&E is a brand that is truly culturally sensitive and has always prided itself on being part of the cultural conversation and being part of the culture. be on the front line, ”he said. “Right now, we have a lot of projects that we’re excited about and that have been launched.”

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Live rescue, the PD live The emergency first responder spin-off began airing its third season on August 21, filling the Friday and Saturday night slots.

But Sharenow admitted that the PD live the cancellation will also provide opportunities for producers as they search for shows to fill those hours. He highlighted the long-standing success of shows like Intervention and The First 48.

“It’s important to note that A&E was not a one-stop-shop, A&E has a really well-defined brand that builds on what we call the frontline experience, the reality I used to call it, real people in the real world doing real things, ”he said.

A&E will likely order several new shows to fill those hours rather than having one show for six hours per weekend. “We are looking at several different new shows. It’s hard to massively engage in anything these days because it’s hard to kick off new things so you want to be a little bit cautious and cover yourself up, but I think it opens up some opportunities. I’m still convinced that if the content is there, the audience follows. If a show can catch fire, it will. Having these sets of swings, they will have their chance. It’s just an extreme challenge to get away from it all, to feel unique and to feel like something the public has never seen before, ”he said.

Elsewhere, Sharenow revealed he’s exploring the next iteration of the Survivor franchise. Survive Jeffrey Epstein (left) just aired on the network and was a follow-up to Survive R Kelly – the two series of documents telling the stories from the point of view of the women involved.

He said there were a few “things” in development for the next Surviving, but he wouldn’t order many. Survivor series.

“Obviously, the Jeffrey Epstein story was an important story to tell. We have always been on the front line to defend battered women, women victims of violence, trafficking, these are issues that are of crucial importance for life. This [series] gave women a voice and empowered them and there is a unique perspective on how we’re going to do things. We move when the opportunity arises instead of having 15 survivors lined up on a track. It does not go well. We are not trying to keep this train going for itself, but when there is a story that seems extremely important, we will do it, ”he added.

Following Lifetime’s recent oversized order Married at first sight, Sharenow said she is now looking for more closed formats. He said that was the goal of developing the network and highlighted a show like Exchange of women.

“We have to get through it and be a little provocative and sassy. Our women want to be taken on a ride and part of it is an escape, there is a voyeuristic thrill that is quite provocative but not for fun, ”he said.

The company recently hosted an online PitchFest for quarantine producers and Sharenow revealed that he and his team took 150 presentations across 85 meetings and put five shows into “real” development. “Unfortunately, given the health situation in the United States, I think we’re probably going to have to start over,” he added.

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