Ahead of the series premiere of Live PD Presents: Women On Patrol on Lifetime tonight (June 18), the program’s executive producer takes realscreen through the differences between the new spin-off and Live PD.
In the 20 x 30-minute series, cameras follow female law enforcement officers from departments including Jackson, Wyoming; Wilmington, North Carolina; Tempe, Arizona; and Stockton, California, as well as officers who appear regularly on Live PD.
The series will debut at 9 p.m. ET/PT as part of a new ‘Justice for Women with Gretchen Carlson’ programming block, which sees the journalist hosting the two-hour block – including Escaping Polygamy - with wraps between each show. Carlson also serves as narrator of Women on Patrol.
Big Fish president Cesareo spoke to realscreen about the origins of the spin-off, why the series isn’t actually live, and more.Why did you want to grow Live PD into a spin-off?
It’s been incredibly humbling and gratifying to see how much Live PD has grown since premiering in October 2016. Whether following new police departments or exploring different types of law enforcement agencies, from the start we knew there was a lot of room to expand the brand, but it was a matter of doing it in the right way. Live PD viewers are both extremely savvy and deeply engaged, so any franchise development needed to be rooted in the same concept of transparency in policing, but with a fresh perspective.
What was the genesis for Live PD Presents: Women On Patrol?
While filming Live PD, we consistently saw a spike in social engagement and feedback on situations involving female officers that Women on Patrol became a natural evolution of the franchise. In a largely male-dominated field like law enforcement, spotlighting female officers as they patrol their communities was a unique lens to document police work though, and found a perfect home on Lifetime.
Why isn’t Women on Patrol live?
Women on Patrol was never envisioned as a live show. We set out to develop a completely different series with the same ethos of providing a cross-section of what the policing of America looks like, but with a distinctive voice.
What are the major differences between Live PD and Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol?
While from a documentary perspective, both series very strategically depict the given scenario from beginning to end. Women on Patrol, however, provides more of a narrative. With an edited series, we also have the opportunity to feature a more in-depth debrief from our officers after the incident, which is not only enlightening when it comes to protocol, but also provides more anecdotal color and detail that viewers haven’t seen before.
Why do you think the original series resonates so much with Lifetime’s audiences?
The way female viewers have galvanized around true crime programming is incredible, and we’ve been able to weave new facets into Live PD, such as the “Most Wanted” and “Missing” segments, that allow the audience to actively participate in information sharing and help law enforcement to move the needle with certain cases, which makes Live PD a singular viewing experience.
Is an all-female version of this franchise speaking to the movement towards giving women their own platform?
This is a very important and influential moment; the fact that we are able to participate in that conversation and offer an audience as loyal as Lifetime’s an incredibly fresh and pointedly female perspective on the true crime genre is a wonderful opportunity.
What were the major challenges in producing Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol?
Our biggest challenges were selecting the moments featured with so much content on our hands, and also selecting filming locations to widen our coverage and purview. We’ve been lucky to work with 30 different departments at this point with Live PD, and we continue to receive interest from other agencies. With this series, we wanted to feature locations that maintained the goal of documenting the full spectrum of what officers encounter in both city environments and more rural municipalities, but that would also give us the room to really dig into who these officers are.
What’s your favorite moment or scene from Women on Patrol?
There are countless situations that I think viewers will find just as bizarre, emotional or unexpected as we did, however what really stands out with Women on Patrol is the number of instances where we witness the public thanking law enforcement officials. Whether for explaining protocol in an accessible way or for demonstrating compassion in a tough situation, there was a notable frequency of these exchanges during filming, which was something we really hadn’t seen before.