A&E Went Woke and Now They're Going Broke

Posted: Jul 25, 2020 10:21 AM
A&E Went Woke and Now They're Going Broke

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Being ‘woke’ is not good for business—and A&E found that out the hard way. The network has come a long way from its days of dry programming. Shipping Wars, Storage Wars, Longmire, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and other series have boosted ratings for the network. Live PD, created by Dan Abrams, was a better version of COPS that began airing in 2016. It had dozens of crews following police officers from all over the country, allowing them to cut 

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, another wave of political correctness, mob antics, and anti-police fervor took to the streets. Black Lives Matter was back on the scene and the Live PD offered something that could not be allowed to survive because it showed a) that cops are decent human beings; b) at times offered how hard this job can be in certain situations. Remember, there can be no nuance with the far left. The show ran against the narrative that cops were all quasi-Nazis, so the network axed it. As a result, A&E lost nearly half its viewers (via WSJ):

Ratings for A&E Network have plummeted since it canceled the hit police reality show “Live PD” on June 10, a sign of how much the network relies on law-enforcement programming.

Average prime-time viewership for A&E between June 11 and July 19 was 498,000 people, down 49% from the same period last year, according to data from Nielsen. In the key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54, the declines are 55% and 53%, respectively.

The show, which follows police on their rounds in multiple cities simultaneously, averaged about 1.9 million viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes, repeatedly re-aired on other days. It spawned several successful spinoff shows, also canceled.


Before A&E pulled the show, its prime-time viewership was up 4% from the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen. The network has other popular shows, including “The First 48”—which follows the first two days of a criminal investigation—and “Court Cam,” about outbursts inside courtrooms, but none as successful as “Live PD.”

A&E’s ratings declines go beyond prime time. Total daily average viewership in the weeks since the show was pulled is down 36% from a year earlier, to 319,000 people. In the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups, the declines are even larger: 42% and 46%, respectively.

While I love the toxicity of Twitter, the merciless fisticuff aspect of the platform, it’s not real life. It’s Thunderdome for us insane people who love hyper-partisanship, who thrive on poking the bear, triggering the Left, and collecting their tears in our MAGA mugs. And yes, there are some lefties on there who can dish it out just as well. But again, it’s not real life. Catering to the ‘woke’ legions on Twitter is a horrible business model and A&E might have discovered that in brutal fashion. Going ‘woke’ seems to be a path to going broke.