Live PD · Kyle MacLachlan · Modeling
Now Dan Abrams is saying Live PD is a copwatch effort. So, first, the news: Live PD, the COPS but less slick show from Abrams that was canceled after a series of controversies and during 2020’s social justice/police abuse reckoning, will return to the airwaves, with a new name and on a new network.
Per a press release from Reelz, which is a cable television channel, the show will now be called On Patrol: Live, which is a silly rebrand (unless legally motivated?) as even Abrams says it’s just Live PD all over again.
“I have been advocating for the show to return for two years now, and it was just a question of finding the right partner,” Abrams told the Hollywood Reporter. “I have had a number of inquiries from a number of networks about the show, and what I would typically do is have a conversation and then pass it on to the Big Fish folks [Live PD’s production company — EB], and then we would talk about whether it made sense. There had been a couple of other interesting discussions, but this one ended up making the most sense for everyone.”
Abrams also says some kind of wild things to THR, like “I think the more we talk about policing, the more we should want to watch police officers doing what they do. There was a conversation then about policing, there is a conversation now about policing, and as a result I think it is a good thing to have a lens on police departments.”
OK, so, is the show really going to take the cops on Live PD to task. As Abrams’ co-hosts will be (per Variety) “retired Tulsa Police Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin and Deputy Sheriff Curtis Wilson, Division Commander with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in Columbia, S.C.,” I have a pretty pretty hard time believing that Abrams is being anything but disingenuous with that.
The Guardian shares many of my fears, at least, arts writer Adrian Horton does. “The revival of Live PD is a potentially dangerous reality TV backslide,” is the headline of her piece, which leads with the assertion that Live PD was “arguably one of the most irreponsible (show) on TV.” Here’s her take on Abrams copwatch claims:
To be clear: Live PD does not act like a news organization. It puts a “lens on police departments” insomuch as it films hundreds of hours of footage that is then edited for entertainment and, as multiple investigations have found, with police input to keep blatant misconduct off-air. (There is a 10- to 25-minute delay allowing for producers to make edits, and “earlier footage” segments could be filmed weeks in advance.) If the environment has “changed,” as Abrams claims, it’s because public pressure has moved sufficiently elsewhere for Live PD to make a comeback; it’s not that the show intends to contribute to a more nuanced, accurate, and critical view of policing in the US.
Live PD is an even more deceptive ploy than Cops, as it over-emphasizes transparency by suggesting the minutes-long segments aired on TV are 1) live 2) accurate, despite being culled from hours of footage and 3) representative of real life and real police work. That is not the case, as Live PD is entertainment in a symbiotic relationship with law enforcement. A Marshall Project investigation found through records requests from 47 agencies working with Live PD that at least 13 departments asked the show not to broadcast certain unflattering encounters, which ultimately did not make it to air.
On Patrol: Liveis set to return this summer with two episodes, each three hours a week. Watch for it —or watch out for it — Friday and Saturday nights from 9 PM to midnight. — EB
The cast list for Miranda’s Victim is getting wild. There’s not a lot available online about Trish Weir, the woman who — in the words of the makers of Miranda’s Victim — “in 1963 was kidnapped and brutally raped by Ernesto Miranda. Committed to putting her assailant in prison, Trish’s life is destroyed by America’s legal system as she triggers a law that transforms the nation.” An explainer on the Miranda Law from History.com gives us a bit more, without naming Weir at all:
The roots of the Miranda decision go back to March 2, 1963, when an 18-year-old Phoenix woman told police that she had been abducted, driven to the desert and raped. Detectives questioning her story gave her a polygraph test, but the results were inconclusive.
However, tracking the license plate number of a car that resembled that of her attacker’s brought police to Ernesto Miranda, who had a prior record as a peeping tom. Although the victim did not identify Miranda in a line-up, he was brought into police custody and interrogated. What happened next is disputed, but officers left the interrogation with a confession that Miranda later recanted, unaware that he didn’t have to say anything at all.
Miranda’s Victim is a feature-length adaptation of the case, and is presently in production in New Jersey, (standing in for Phoenix?). The most recent casting rundown from Deadline details its bold-faced list of stars:
Ryan Phillippe (MacGruber), Mireille Enos (Hanna), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) and Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black) are the latest additions to Michelle Danner’s courtroom drama, Miranda’s Victim. They join an ensemble led by Abigail Breslin, which also includes Luke Wilson, Andy Garcia and Donald Sutherland, as previously announced.]
Breslin is Weir, Phillipe is “ACLU lawyer Flynn, who successfully argues in front of the Supreme Court to get the landmark ruling for the Miranda Rights” (really, that’s who you get?), and MacLachlan is “Chief Justice Warren, who announces the ruling.” Not sure who everyone else is playing; and there’s no release date for the film as yet. — EB
If you give the Guardian 38 minutes, they’ll make you feel pretty bad about modeling. I mean, you could watch one of the zillion “cycles” (barf) of America’s Next Top Model to realize that the business is an abusive nightmare…or you could just listen to this investigation into the allegations against Jean-Luc Brunel. a well-known agent who’s repped some of the industry’s biggest names.
Brunel, as you might recall, killed himself in prison just like his pal Jeffrey Epstein did. Per the BBC:
His arrest was part of a French inquiry into sex trafficking and sexual assault allegations against Epstein, focusing on potential crimes committed against French victims and suspects who are French citizens. Prosecutors suspected Brunel of raping, sexually assaulting and sexually harassing multiple minors and adults. They also suspected him of transporting and housing young girls or young women for Epstein.
A frequent companion of Epstein, Brunel was considered key to the French probe into alleged sexual exploitation of women and girls by the financier and his circle.
Now several of Brunel’s accusers are speaking out, not just about Brunel but about the industry that allegedly enabled and shielded him. This brief podcast episode touches on some of their stories, but also serves as a companion to reporter Lucy Osborne’s longread on the matter from last month.
And if you can’t get enough of this shitty guy and live in the U.K. you’re in luck! Starting June 24, there’s a docuseries about Brunel called Scouting for Girls: Fashion’s Darkest Secret airing on Sky. — EB
Friday on Best Evidence: That ball is still up in the air! (As you might have guessed from the lateness of today’s issue, Sarah and I are both having a week.)