'Cops' Show Canceled Amid Worldwide Protests Against Police Violence

2 hours ago
Originally published on June 10, 2020 8:37 am

Since 1989, Cops has made riveting television from verite footage of arrests and emergency calls — often capturing scenes of police interacting with clueless suspects — filmed by riding along with police officers.

And it has one of the most recognizable theme songs on TV.

But the long-running unscripted show has been canceled after 32 seasons. The Paramount Network dropped it amid widespread protests nationwide about policing.

The show's 33rd season was scheduled to debut Monday,

The Paramount Network issued a terse statement Tuesday, saying, "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return."

Cops is one of the first examples of unscripted, so-called "reality TV." It debuted before CBS' Survivor or MTV's The Real World. But the series ends as protests following George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis officers have motivated a fresh look at how shows like cops boost the image of police.

A podcast dissecting the series, called Running From Cops, alleged that some officers unfairly pressured suspects to allow the show to broadcast their arrest and that some camera people were armed and overtly helped police. Host Dan Taberksi says in one episode, that before cellphone videos, Cops was "the dominant cultural depiction of how real policing works in America."

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