“Cops,” the documentary-style reality TV show that follows police officers in the line of duty and has aired since 1989, is being permanently canceled in the wake of new dialogue about police brutality in America.
Paramount Network, a ViacomCBS-owned TV channel, announced Tuesday that “Cops” would not return to its lineup, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount spokesperson said.
The show was originally slated to return for the start of its 33rd season on Monday.
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Paramount Network’s forerunner, Spike TV, picked up “Cops” in 2013 after it ended a 25-season run on Fox. The series continued following the 2018 rebranding of the channel as Paramount Network, which also had syndication rights to many past seasons.
Old episodes of “Cops” currently air on WGN America and the ViacomCBS-owned streaming service Pluto TV. WGN America’s commitment to the show expires at the end of June and the cable network, owned by Nexstar, doesn’t plan to renew it, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
News of the reality show’s demise comes nearly a week after “Cops” and “Live PD,” an A&E show that follows police officers live on duty, were pulled from programming in the wake of nationwide civil unrest.
Another similar show “Body Cam,” which airs on Discovery ID, has also been pulled, at least temporary, from the airwaves, the Washington Post reported.
The reality shows have long been a target for scrutiny by critics who think they glorify aggressive police tactics.
Indeed, law enforcement culture is undergoing its most thorough examination ever in the shadow of George Floyd’s tragic death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Police restraints, officers unions, and even whole departments are now being targeted for top-to-bottom reforms, and in the case of Minneapolis, even abolishment.