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'Cops' TV show canceled amid unrest over death of George Floyd

“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson said.
Image: Cops tv show
Cops tv show on Paramount Network.Courtesy Paramount Network

“Cops” has officially been canceled at Paramount Network.

Definitive news that the series won’t return comes only four days after Variety exclusively reported that it had been pulled from the schedule.

“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said in a statement.

The original decision to hold “Cops” was spurred by nationwide protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minnesota police officers.

“Cops” originally launched on Fox in 1989 and has come under fire in recent years for its depicts law enforcement and questionable behind the scenes practices.

The series was the subject of a recent podcast hosted by Dan Taberski, “Running from Cops,” which chronicled hundreds of episodes of the show. Taberski and his team detailed instances where people were coerced into signing waivers and how production allows police to edit and remove anything that might paint them in a negative light.

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.

At the same time as Paramount Network pulled “Cops” from its plans, A&E removed a similar show in “Live PD” from its schedule “out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives.”

“Live PD” is currently the number one series on cable on Friday and Saturday nights, and follows cops and sheriffs — live, in real time, as they patrol various cities and counties across the country.