If you've ever wanted to go on a ride along with first responders, but without exposing yourself to the very real and present dangers faced by those who bravely risk their lives responding to emergency rescue calls, you now need only a basic cable subscription to accomplish your dream.
The new documentary television series "Live Rescue" gets up close and personal with real first responders across the country, providing live look-ins at the life-threatening situations they encounter on a nightly basis.
'Live PD' spinoff 'Live Rescue' airing Monday nights on A&E
In March, the A&E channel announced that it was following up its immensely popular "Live PD" series with the spin-off show "Live Rescue."
"Live PD" follows police officers across the country as they perform their nighttime patrols, broadcasting live select interactions they have in the course of duty. The show is hosted by ABC News chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams, who is joined in the studio by police and crime analysts. Throughout each episode, viewers are treated to footage from live video feeds for eight different law enforcement agencies.
The series premiered on the network in 2016, and has since aired 200 episodes over the past three years, in the process becoming one of cable's most-watched programs. In 2018, "Live PD" was the most-viewed show of the year on DVR, video on demand and over-the-top media services, topping every chart except, ironically, the live-viewing category.
"Live PD" can also lay claim to being cable's No. 1 justice series, and the No. 1 show on cable on Friday and Saturday nights.
Looking to replicate that success by focusing on a similar yet different breed of hero, A&E ordered eight two-hour episodes of "Live Rescue" from Big Fish Entertainment, the same MGM Company behind "Live PD."
"'Live Rescue' is the next incarnation of our groundbreaking partnership with Big Fish Entertainment, following the brave paramedics and first responders who risk their lives every day to keep us safe despite the challenges of their jobs," said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E. "The team at Big Fish has assembled a best-in-class production team of broadcast news veterans and we are looking forward to adding 'Live Rescue' to the A&E portfolio of brave storytelling."
To host the new program, A&E tapped veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield, whose previous credits include "CNN Newsroom" and HLN's "Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield." In a commercial for "Live Rescue," Banfield says "everyone should know what first responders go through, and now you can."
The first episode debuted live at 9:00 pm ET on Monday, April 22. Banfield was joined in-studio by analysts Dan Flynn, a nationally registered paramedic and registered nurse in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Titus Tero, a nationally registered paramedic for the City of New Orleans EMS.
With the aid of 32 roaming cameras, the trio was able to keep tabs on the exploits of seven different agencies in cities across the country, including the St. Louis Fire Department. The real-time documentary reality series will have three film crews placed on two ambulances and one fire engine every Monday night of the show's initial eight-week run, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Both EMS and fire do a phenomenal job of keeping the city safe every day," department spokesman Garon Mosby told the Post-Dispatch. "We think this is an opportunity to show the world how good they are."