Culture

‘Cops’ Canceled in Wake of Protests Against Police

Protesters in Washington, D.C., in a demonstration over the death of George Floyd / Getty Images

Cops, the long-running reality show that already survived one cancellation, will officially end in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality.

"Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return," a network spokesman told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday.

Progressive groups celebrated the cancellation immediately, with the group Color of Change saying the show was ended "after our conversation with [Paramount Network] this week and after millions of our members raised their voices."

Protests have raged around the world since the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers from the Minneapolis Police Department, and some critics have argued depictions of police work on television have contributed to police brutality.

Cops premiered in March 1989 and aired 33 seasons and over 1,100 episodes. Prior to its first cancellation on Fox, Cops was the longest running show in the channel's history. In 2013, Fox cancelled the show after 25 seasons.

Spike TV immediately picked up the show, and in 2018 the channel was rebranded as the Paramount Network.

The network had already pulled the remaining episodes of the show's current season from the schedule prior to Tuesday's announcement of the show's cancellation. Reruns air on WGN America, but the channel doesn't plan on renewing its commitment to the show when it expires at the end of this month, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Cops had expanded to cover different cops from all over the world during its run, even having a crossover episode with Fox's sci-fi series The X-Files. But it also came under criticism for focusing too much on impoverished subjects and for being unrealistic, and it was the subject of an investigative podcast titled "Running From Cops."

Its trademark style was the subject of parody, including an episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in a segment titled "Whatcha gonna do when Mueller comes for you?" The segment depicted cops arresting political consultant Roger Stone.