31 years is a long time to be on television, much less patrolling the airwaves, well not anymore for the three-decade show “Cops” because it’s been canceled. A spokesperson for Paramount Network states that it has no “current or future plans for it to return.”
‘Cops’ had been scheduled to premiere on Monday, but no episode has aired on Paramount Network since at least June 1 as protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement continued across the country.
Cops first originated on Fox in 1989 due to the fact that they were experimenting with ideas and it was low on production cost which gave really its footing and rating winner. It had been pulled days before its scheduled season premiere, an action that came amid questions and protests about policing and it’s tactics. Similarly, A&E has also postponed “Live PD,” a different version of the show which is one of the network’s most popular series.
Reality is setting in since we know so much is aimed at making the police look good whether it’s a made for a tv show or a “realistic” variety show of them, the truth is blurred for the publics’ perception.
Here’s hoping the last few weeks of mass protests will fundamentally alter how people see such programming and more to the point, how networks approach scheduling them. The viewing audience is hardly monolithic, with an abundance of options catering to all sorts of tastes and niches.
The postponement/delay/cancellation of this type of genre is no more than a tactic for executives not to face the reality of current times with programming they exploit off of criminals.
Like so much in TV, the success of “Cops” was a surprise to most concerned at the time — representing a confluence of events more than some master plan. Still, in its infancy, the Fox broadcast network basically stumbled into the genre, as networks explored programming alternatives due to a prolonged strike by Hollywood writers.
Beginning on local stations, Fox launched a law-enforcement block that began with “America’s Most Wanted” in the final year of the Reagan administration, later joined by “Cops.”
Fox aired 25 seasons of “Cops,” pairing it with “America’s Most Wanted” on Saturday nights for 14 years. “Most Wanted” moved to Lifetime in 2011 and was eventually canceled. “Cops,” meanwhile, got a new lease on life in 2013 when Spike TV ordered new episodes and paired them with repeats. Spike was rebranded as Paramount Network in 2018.