Is Dan Abrams’ “Court Cam” Realistic?

March 19, 2021
Filed under: Blog,Law&Crime,Writing — Tags: , — Editorial Staff @ 4:14 pm

Oklahoma defense attorney, Adam Banner, came across A&E’s Court Cam one afternoon while flipping channels. Immediately intrigued by the show’s opener, Banner had to tune in and discover for himself what Court Cam was all about.

First aired on A&E in December 2019, Court Cam gives viewers an inside look into America’s craziest and most outrageous courtroom moments. Hosted by ABC’s chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams, each episode combines interviews of judges, witnesses, victims, etc. with actual footage to provide a behind-the-scenes look of what happened in the courtroom. Wanting to judge for himself if Court Cam was realistic, Banner sat down in front of the tv and watched. In a column for the ABA Journal, Banner discussed his thoughts.

“One has to approach Court Cam with an understanding of what they’re in for” Banner wrote, “extreme instances of extreme behavior in courtrooms across the nation.” However extreme does not mean unrealistic. “Absurd things do happen in courthouses reasonably regularly,” Banner notes after discussing an episode in which an Oklahoma man entered a courthouse without any pants. In fact, Banner could recall two separate instances of his own in which defendants had defecated in the courtroom hallway.

While outrageous moments such as “a defendant trying to sing his way to a lighter sentence” or “another lighting up a joint in open court” are fun to watch, “the series doesn’t simply recount the ridiculous,” Banner writes. A segment covering a defendant attacking his attorney in open court was followed by an interview with said attorney. This interview provided a nice touch that Banner believes “added an interesting level of reality” to the story.

Defendants aren’t the only ones featured on Court Cam. Many of the show’s segments feature the victims and family members who are dealing with the aftermath of traumatic crimes. “The majority of episodes deal with “revenge” by someone who feels they have been wronged.” This reflects what Banner believes to be “a common thread that weaves all these players together: the despair that results from losing something of value.”

Court Cam episodes play out in a formulaic way. After the episode’s opening, the viewer is greeted by host Dan Abrams who sets up “the place and procedural posture of the problem that follow.” Banner notes Abrams’ “commentary is measured and not too overbearing,” and he “does a great job of relaying the necessary facts in a way that keeps the audience engaged without becoming too distracting.” Because the show itself “isn’t set in any specific location,” Banner notes the producers have the advantage of cherry-picking “the most outrageous instances of bad behavior it can find.”

Overall, whether the story focuses on a loss that is “one’s freedom due to his or her own actions or losing a loved one due to the actions of another,” Bannon believesCourt Cam does an admirable job of showing the extreme examples of human emotions that play out—to one degree or another—every day in courthouses all across America.”

New episodes of Court Cam air on  on Wednesdays at 9/8 central on A&E. You can read Adam Banner’s full column on the ABA Journal’s site here.

Dan Abrams: “One-Man Media Conglomerate”

February 19, 2020
Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 6:25 pm

Dan Abrams sat down with Broadcasting+Cable business editor Jon Lafayette recently to discuss Law&Crime Network and his new book John Adams Under Fire: The Founding Father’s Fight for Justice in The Boston Massacre Trial and his other media ventures. The interview shed light on how Dan has become what B+C calls a “One-man media conglomerate.” 

Dan commented on his entrepreneurial instinct, “I have always been as, or more, interested in the business side of media than the on-air side.” His company, Abrams Media, now operates the websites Mediaite, The Mary Sue, Ambo TV, as well as his live news network, Law&Crime. Most recently the production wing of Law&Crime produced the hit unscripted show, Court Cam, for A&E and two true crime documentary series for Facebook Watch. Dan explains the success of Law&Crime Productions on the theory that “People don’t really want fake, scripted reality shows anymore. They want real reality and we can provide that. A lot of it. The genre is really hot and we are now producing programs for five other networks/platforms.”

This theory rings true with the huge popularity of Live PD. The show is big, but it also has an active fanbase. Dan says, “I could not have predicted that it would often be the No. 1 show on cable on Friday and Saturday nights. What has been most surprising (and rewarding) about it has been how invested the audience is in the show. #LivePDNation, as we call the community, is so passionate about every detail of the show. They sometimes see little things the police miss, help catch wanted fugitives or find the missing children we highlight on the show.” 

On top of all his TV shows and appearances Dan also hosts a daily radio show on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel that keeps him on top of all the latest political legal news. Dan said in the interview, “I wish media coverage would more often take a step back and present more context and analysis, even if it’s something we didn’t just learn about today.”

Watch Dan on Live PD Fridays and Saturdays at 9pm EST, watch him on ABC News, listen to him on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel Monday-Friday from 2-3pm, or read his latest book, John Adams Under Fire.

Court Cam Renewed for Second Season by A&E

January 31, 2020
Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 9:15 pm

Dan Abrams’ latest collaboration with A&E has been picked up for a second season following a wildly successful first one, the Wrap reported Thursday. The show explored the sometimes wild side of America’s criminal courts and showed the stories behind these moments. By interviewing the judges, lawyers, and defendants involved, Dan was able to guide the audience through enthralling stories.

The first season boasted 2 million total viewers per episode and earned its title of A&E’s number 1 new series for 2019. Deadline reported that it was the “#1 cable show on Thursday nights among Adults 25-54.” 

The ratings success has resonated with the network. Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive VP and head of programming, A&E Network, said, “This series is a prime example of the type of eye-opening programming that A&E strives to deliver. Following the success of its first season, we are looking forward to continuing this journey with Dan Abrams as we further our exploration of all facets of the criminal justice system.”

The show is being produced by Law&Crime Productions, the production team associated with Dan Abrams’ 24/7 trial streaming service, Law&Crime Network. The show’s executive producers on Law&Crime Production’s team are Dan Abrams, Rachel Stockman and Paul Tinelli. Shelly Tatro and Sean Gottlieb serve as executive producers for A&E Network.
The second season is currently in production and a premiere date has not yet been released. You can catch up on season one at aetv.com.

Dan Abrams to Host and Executive Produce New A&E Network Show Court Cam

October 24, 2019
Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 9:11 pm

A&E Network announced a new collaboration with ABC Chief Legal Analyst and Live PD host Dan Abrams. Following the success of Live PD and The Law&Crime Network, A&E has teamed up with Abrams and his production company, Law&Crime Productions, to produce Court Cam a behind the scenes look into some of the most wild, unruly, and dramatic moments in courts across the country. Watch the promo on TheWrap.com and elsewhere. 

Dan will sit down with the witnesses, judges, and victims in these cases in order to tell their stories and perspectives of the emotional outbursts and chaotic moments. A&E Network’s executive VP and head of programming, Elaine Frontain Bryant, described Dan is the perfect person for these stories, “Not only is he a trusted voice to our audience and all Live PD viewers, but his legal expertise makes him the perfect host to provide viewers with an all-access look into unbelievable moments in America’s courtrooms.” 

Despite his legal expertise and decades of experience in covering the courts, some of these moments shocked Dan, “I have covered trials for my entire career, and even I was stunned by many of these remarkable courtroom moments… then getting to talk to the people involved from heroes to victims was as enlightening as it was humbling.”

The first season of the show will feature 8 x 30 minute episodes, jam-packed filled with tense court battles and decorum shattering moments. “Court Cam” premieres on A&E with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, December 5 at 9PM ET/PT.