Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Dan Cesareo, the president of Big Fish Entertainment and the executive producer of the A&E show Live PD, says the show's control room looked like the living rooms of viewers all over the country Saturday night.
Playing out the scene of a suspect holding his daughter while fighting with deputies from beginning to end is the idea behind the show.
"Nothing prepared us for what we saw Saturday night," Cesareo said. "As a father of two young children, it is definitely the most intense thing that I have personally witnessed in my career."
Cesareo says the whole idea behind the show is giving viewers a ride along with law enforcement.
"We're the first show that's ever completely documented police work from beginning to end," Cesareo said.
But that also led viewers to ask: what do the Live PD cameramen do when they see a situation escalate like Saturday night's?
"None of our crew members are trained law enforcement," Cesareo said, "so it's a slippery slope, you don't want to make a situation worse."
He says their role is only to document, with situational exception.
"The producer stepping in and grabbing the child was the absolute correct thing to do on Saturday night," Cesareosaid.
Cesareo says they do have measures to control the explicitness of what viewers see.
"We're on an industry standard delay so we're never gonna show something graphic or unacceptable," Cesareo said.
He says they show's goal is simple:
"Our goal is to provide a completely unbiased platform," Cesareo said. "Live PD answers America's call for transparency in policing."
We asked Cesareo why he chose Richland County for the show, and he says it's because we have one of the largest forces in the South and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott was open to the idea of transparency.