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‘Cops’ canceled amid nationwide protests against police brutality

"Cops," which premiered on Fox in 1989, has been canceled, Paramount Network confirmed on Tuesday.
(Fox)

“Cops” has been abolished by the Paramount Network.

The long-running reality series was canceled Tuesday amid nationwide protests over systemic racism and police violence after the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25 after a white police officer pinned him down at the neck with his knee until he stopped breathing.

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

Critics say the popular TV shows of “Law & Order,” “Chicago PD” and “FBI” creator Dick Wolf create harmful misperceptions of the criminal justice system.

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Episodes of the series, which followed police officers and sheriff’s deputies as they responded to calls, had been pulled from the network’s lineup earlier this month in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. Now the pause is permanent.

As the nationwide protests continue, discussion has turned to how TV shows and pop culture have helped perpetuate misconceptions about the police and the criminal justice system. “Cops” and unscripted counterparts like “Live PD” — currently on hold at A&E — are among those that have faced heightened scrutiny as videos capturing police attacks on peaceful protesters have circulated in recent days.

“Cops” originally premiered in 1989 on the Fox network, where it aired for 25 seasons. The unscripted series was built around actual events and commentary provided by the on-duty police officers being featured. In 2013, “Cops” moved to Spike TV, the predecessor to Paramount. A new season had been slated to premiere Monday.


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