The long-running series Cops has been canceled after 32 seasons, as The Hollywood Reporter reports. Paramount Network officially nixed the series in the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd.
The ViacomCBS-owned cable network initially delayed Monday’s premiere of Season 33 per Variety, before announcing its official decision to pull the reality TV series altogether on Tuesday.
“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 in a statement.
Originally launched in 1989, Cops aired for 25 seasons on Fox before being picked up by Spike TV in 2013. The series continued to air on the network after Spike TV’s rebranding as Paramount Network in 2018.
Throughout the years of its airing, Cops has been the subject of criticism. Dan Taberski’s recent podcast series, Running From Cops, explores some of the questionable depictions of both alleged suspects and police featured in its episodes over an 18-month period where they examined the show. The podcast presents instances where subjects were coerced into signing waivers and times production allowed police to control some editing decisions to presumably air more favorable portrayals.
“#COPS has officially been CANCELLED off @paramountnet after our conversation with them this week and after millions of our members raised their voices to say stop,” racial justice organization Color of Change tweeted, adding a quote and tagging the organization’s Vice President & Chief of Campaigns, Arisha Michelle. “‘Crime TV plays a significant role in advancing distorted representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture & #Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers.'”
“Crime TV plays a significant role in advancing distorted representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture & #Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers” @arishamichelle #NormalizingInjstice
— ColorOfChange (@ColorOfChange) June 10, 2020