‘Cops’ Canceled in the Wake of Protests

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Paramount Network has permanently pulled the plug on the long-running true crime reality show Cops amid protests worldwide following the death of George Floyd in police custody. The ViacomCBS-owned network initially pulled episodes of Cops from its schedule on Friday.

Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson confirmed to ET on Tuesday. 

Cops launched in 1989 on Fox, where it ran for 25 seasons and was often paired with another real-life crime show, America’s Most Wanted. In 2013, SpikeTV (which would later be rebranded as Paramount Network) picked up the series after Fox canceled it.

The series was set to premiere its 33rd season on Monday, but had been off the air since the beginning of the month due to protests against police brutality and systemic racism, which have continued in cities around the U.S. Cops has aired 1,100 episodes during its 31-year run. 

Cops has been under scrutiny for years. A 1994 study found that the show associated black and brown people with violent crime much more frequently than it did with white people. A podcast called Running From Cops focused on episodes of the series and its impact on policing in America. It detailed questionable tactics used by police officers on Cops to persuade subjects to sign release forms in order to be filmed and the authority in which the police were given to edit out any negative footage.

In addition to Cops being shelved indefinitely, A&E’s top-rated program, Live PD, was also taken off the schedule. The series, which airs live Friday and Saturday nights, follows police officers in real time as they patrol cities across the country.

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