‘Cops’ Officially Canceled By Paramount Network in Wake of George Floyd Protests, Societal Unrest

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Cops, the long-running television program that first premiered in 1989 and has lived on for decades, with its 32nd season airing in 2019, has been canceled in the wake of social unrest and protests stemming from the May 25 police killing of George Floyd.

The realty/documentary program, in which camera crews accompanied police officers and federal agents as they went about their business responding to calls for service, was a staple of syndicated television for years, its theme song from reggae group Inner Circle becoming something of a cult classic:


Variety first ran with the news of the program’s cancellation, along with this statement:

“‘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.

Similarly, A&E has reportedly pulled Live PD, another show chronicling police officers on the job, per Variety, which added a bit more about Cops and its longevity on television:

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.”

The theme song for the program came from Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle, which originally released the track in 1987, where it remained in relative obscurity until being re-released in 1993 and landing on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 8 and the Top 40 Mainstream at No. 7.


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