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World's Wildest Police Videos

World's Wildest Police Videos (sometimes abbreviated to WWPV and in some episodes simply called Police Videos) is a reality TV series that dealt with police videos from across the world. Video footage of car chases, subsequent arrests, robberies, riots and other crimes appeared on the show. The series ran on Fox from 1998-2002, although episodes were only broadcast up until 2001.

Production

World's Wildest Police Videos began in 1998 and ran for three seasons, comprising a total of 36 episodes. Despite being officially cancelled in 2002, new episodes were only aired until 2001.

Most of the police videos featured the show were from various U.S. police departments, but footage from other nations such as Argentina and the United Kingdom also appeared. Video sources included cameras from police cars, helicopters, store security systems, news reporters, and private citizens from around the world. Much of the footage had previously only been seen by law enforcement officials.

The show became popular with viewers. It had the highest ratings of any FOX network television special to that date. It was also featured on Entertainment Tonight and was re-aired later that month. It was the first sweeps-month special ever to run twice during a sweeps period by FOX.

Format

The series began with the special World's Scariest Police Chases, which was broadcast in February 1997. It was narrated by actor Peter Coyote, and featured commentary by Captain C.W. Jensen of the Portland Police Bureau.

After the first special, the show was broadcast weekly, hosted by John Bunnell, a retired police officer and former Sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon. Bunnell's commentary was often characterized by dramatic descriptions of the struggle between good and evil, the police and criminals, victims and abusers, etc. Although Bunnell hosted and commentated on most of the show, some police video segments were sometimes dubbed with the actual law enforcement officials acting in the situation presented. Tire screeching noises and horn beeps were sometimes overdubbed into these segments.

It has been widely noticed that the same voice is used in every helicopter footage scene, regardless of the location the footage is from. This uncredited voice is said to be that of Lawrence Welk III who usually goes by "Larry Welk," and is a reporter and helicopter traffic pilot for KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. He is also the grandson of famed musician Lawrence Welk. In one episode, his voice is even used as that of an announcer at a motorcross rally.

Originally, a typical episode included sections entitled: "Pit Maneuver," "Car Thieves," "Rainy Chase," "Big Rig Road Block," "Jumping Off Bridge," and "Drunk Drivers." This was soon dropped, and replaced with a string of clips, each commentated on by Bunnell. After a few videos, a small clip of Bunnell would be shown, often describing the police mentality behind the videos about to appear.

A video game based on the series was released for the PlayStation in 2001, entitled World's Scariest Police Chases, also featuring Bunnell.

Worldwide Syndication

World's Wildest Police Videos is syndicated worldwide, being broadcast in the following countries in order of date of first broadcast:

References

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