‘Cops’ Canceled by Paramount Network, A&E Axes ‘Live PD’ Amid Protests

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Cops” was cancelled by Paramount Network on Tuesday amid the ongoing nationwide protests regarding the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and systemic racism in the nation’s law enforcement organizations. A&E Networks cancelled “Live PD” the following day.

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

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Though “Cops,” which was picked up by Spike TV in 2013 and stayed with the network after it rebranded to Paramount Network in 2018, was an enduringly popular series. Currently, it and other shows about law enforcement have come under heightened scrutiny in recent weeks due to the Floyd protests. Police throughout the nation have been filmed beating and arresting peaceful protestors and journalists in recent weeks.

“Cops,” which premiered on Fox in 1989 and ran for 33 seasons was originally supposed to return to the network on Monday with a new season; the show had been off the air since June 1. Though the abrupt cancellation was almost certainly due to current events, Deadline notes that Paramount Network has been moving away from all unscripted programming.

“Cops” followed real police officers as they worked cases and patrolled the streets. Though the show was primarily focused on American law enforcement officers, “Cops” also filmed in international locations such as Hong Kong, London, Moscow, and South America.

Deadline also reported that the status of the reality police series “Live PD” was being evaluated by A&E Networks on Tuesday. The publication reported on Wednesday that the show had been cancelled, which an A&E spokesperson confirmed to IndieWire.

“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on ‘Live PD,’ the network said in a statement. “Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”

IndieWire’s Tambay Obenson recently reported that police TV series such as “Cops” and “Live PD” distort the public’s view of law enforcement by glamorizing the police while distorting issues such as crime, justice, and gender. Obsenson notes that many cop series entirely ignore critical law enforcement issues, including racial bias.

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