Reelz emphasizes ‘live’ nature of ‘On Patrol’ in promo that pretends not to be a promo

Ahead of the premiere of a renamed version of “Live PD” with a new home, the Reelz network is promoting its upcoming “On Patrol Live” series with an emphasis on the “live” nature of it.

“We’d like to show you what happens on the premiere of ‘On Patrol Live,’ but … it’s live,” says co-host Dan Abrams

“So there’s no trailer,” says co-host Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin.

“No exciting footage,” adds co-host Deputy Sheriff Curtis Wilson.

“No nothing,” says Abrams.

“Because you’ll see it for the first time when we do,” Larkin explains.

“Meanwhile, here’s some stock video of a very cute police canine,” teases Wilson, before the promo cuts abruptly to exactly what it promises. 

Abrams then throws in a “woof” for good measure before all three emphasize that “anything” can happen.

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Of course, the fact that “On Patrol Live” is live doesn’t exactly preclude it from creating a trailer or showing “exciting footage,” though it is a clever, if not slightly cliche, way of driving home the facing the show airs live.

Like any live show, no one knows exactly what will happen, but networks routinely still air promos that feature footage from previous or similar events along with a variety of stock and talent footage.

“On Patrol Live” is expected to dip into live feeds from law enforcement teams across the country in mostly realtime, meaning it is much more unpredictable than most other live programming.

The promo itself is mostly shot in front of chroma key with a quasi-virtual set behind talent that features a control room like with simulated curved video wall. 

It includes a look at the show’s logo, which includes a red and blue vertical element between the words “Patrol” and “Live,” the latter of which is also boldface.

In some iterations of the logo, the bars flash alternatively, simulating the look of the lightbars found on many law enforcement vehicles (though these are typically mounted horizontally). The lightbar motif is also featured as a muted background element in the promo.

“On Patrol Live” is essentially the successor to “Live PD,” a popular show that aired on A&E until 2020, when it was dropped by the network after increasing attention nationwide to deaths in police custody and a scandal over footage of such a death that was later allegedly deleted by the production team.

The show features much of the same production team and format, with added elements such as “ride-alongs” the show hopes will address transparency issues.

Like “Live PD,” “On Patrol Live” is expected to air live on a slight tape delay and mix in recorded footage when there aren’t any incidents of note happening live during its 9 p.m. to midnight eastern timeslot on Fridays and Saturdays.

Abrams, a former MSNBC anchor and general manager, also serves as ABC News’ chief legal analyst and hosts “Dan Abrams Live” on Nexstar’s NewsNation. He also runs Abrams Media, a network of digital properties that typically focus on a specific topic or industry.

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