'Cops' and 'Live PD' canceled amid nationwide protests and calls to defund police

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Cops has been canceled.

Amid nationwide protests over police brutality and calls to defund police departments, the show that many cops once saw as a recruiting tool, no longer has a home.

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 told Deadline.

Paramount did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

The network reportedly dropped the show from its schedule on June 1, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. It was unknown until now if it would be back, and the premiere of its 33rd season did not air on Monday as planned.

Paramount Network is moving away from unscripted shows, but it continues to air reality shows, including Bar Rescue and Ink Master.

Reruns of Cops continue to air on WGN, but The Hollywood Reporter says that Nexstar, the company that owns the network, won’t be renewing the contract for the show after it ends later this month, according to sources.

The documentary series premiered on Fox in 1989. After 25 seasons, it moved to Spike TV, which became Paramount Network in 2018. In its lengthy run, the show has been criticized for the way it portrays suspects and police alike, most notably in the 2019 podcast Running From Cops, which examined the cultural impact of the show.

“It completely breaks any trust of law enforcement,” podcast host, Dan Taberski, told the New York Times in June 2019. “That’s precarious as it is, but [people being arrested] can’t call the police because the police are working with the producers.”

Other reality shows about law enforcement officers, A&E’s Live PD and Discovery ID’s show Body Cam, had also been taken off the air.

The producers of Live PD announced Wednesday that their show would not be returning.

“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD,” A&E said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”

Immediately, people unhappy with the decision began using the hashtag #BoycottAandE.

This story has been updated since it was originally published June 9.

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