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COPS TV show cancelled after 31 years

The long-running TV series—Cops—has been canceled after more than 30 seasons on air.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

The long-running TV series—Cops—has been cancelled after more than 30 seasons on air, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The true-crime reality series was dumped by Paramount Network after protests against police brutality and racism emerged throughout the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

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

Over 1,100 episodes of the TV series have aired as it was about to enter its 33rd season. The show lasted 25 seasons on Fox after premiering in 1989.

Fox cancelled the series in 2013 and it was later picked up by Spike TV. Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews hosted the 1,000th episode in 2017 in a live special. Spike TV turned into Paramount Network in 2018.

The show has been a controversial show for some time as two studies claimed Cops was racially skewed in 2004. Co-creators Morgan and John Langley said the show was adjusted long ago to have a mix of racially diverse cops and perpetrators.

Color of Change, a civil rights advocacy organization has been a critic of the show for many years and were pushing for an end to the series when Fox cancelled it in 2013. The group reportedly spoke with Viacom—the Paramount Network owner—earlier this week about “permanently” cancelling the show.

"For more than 30 years, Cops has miseducated the public and normalized injustice," noted Arisha Hatch, Color Of Change vice president, in a statement. "Crime television encourages the public to accept the norms of over-policing and excessive force and reject reform, while supporting the exact behaviour that destroys the lives of Black people."

"Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers. Now it’s time for other networks to cancel similarly harmful shows. We call on A&E to cancel Live PD next. In a moment when everyone wants to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, we must hold these companies accountable to put actions to words with a complete industry overhaul."

Live PD has a very similar format to Cops and launched in 2016. The show is hosted by the legal affairs chief for ABC News, Dan Abrams. The show is generally the highest-rated TV series on Fridays and Saturdays, with one episode seeing as much as 2.4 million viewers last summer.

The series was renewed by A&E last summer for 160 more episodes, though last week’s episodes were reportedly pulled by A&E. The show is still expected to return, though sources say that it is unlikely to air this weekend.

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Sam Edwards
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