'Cops' canceled following nationwide protests against police brutality

The reality TV series originally launched in 1989 and got a new lease on life in 2013.
"Cops" reality TV show logo
"Cops" moved to Paramount Network in 2013.Courtesy Paramount Network
/ Source: Reuters

"Cops" has officially been canceled at Paramount Network.

Definitive news that the series won't return comes only four days after Variety exclusively reported that it had been pulled from the schedule.

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

The original decision to hold "Cops" (and also "Live PD") was spurred by nationwide protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers.

"Cops" originally launched on Fox in 1989 and has come under fire in recent years for its depictions of law enforcement and questionable behind-the-scenes practices.

The series was the subject of a recent podcast hosted by Dan Taberski, "Running from Cops," chronicled hundreds of episodes of the show. Taberski and his team detailed instances where people were coerced into signing waivers and how production allows police to edit and remove anything that might paint them in a negative light.

Fox aired 25 seasons of “Cops,” pairing it with “America’s Most Wanted” on Saturday nights for 14 years. “Most Wanted” moved to Lifetime in 2011 and was eventually canceled. “Cops,” meanwhile, got a new lease on life in 2013 when Spike TV ordered new episodes and paired them with repeats. (Spike was rebranded as Paramount Network in 2018.)

At the same time as Paramount Network pulled “Cops” from its plans, A&E removed a similar show in “Live PD” from its schedule “out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives.”

“Live PD” is currently the number one series on cable on Friday and Saturday nights, and follows cops and sheriffs — live, in real time, as they patrol various cities and counties across the country.