After 32 seasons, Paramount has canceled the docuseries Cops.

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

The show was initially removed from the air after footage of George Floyd being murdered by police sparked worldwide protests.

Premiering in 1989, Cops aired on Fox for 25 seasons before being canceled in 2013. It was picked up by the Spike Network, which was later rebranded as Paramount in 2018. The true-crime reality show, which features actual police officers searching for and apprehending suspects, ran for a total of 1,100 episodes over 32 seasons.

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Multiple studies have connected the show’s influence with racism. A study in 1994 determined its viewers associated Black people with violent crimes at a higher rate than nonviewers. In 2004, two other studies concluded that the show was racially slanted and could be used as grounds to bolster the practice of racial profiling. 

Cocreators John and Morgan Langley revealed back in 2018 that they had intentionally made changes so that Cops presented a more diverse array of police officers and suspects in 2018. Still, it’s unsure what effect it had on the perception of Black people, since at that point the show had been a fixture in American living rooms for 29 years. 

Virtual racial justice organization Color of Change, which rallied against Fox renewing the show in 2013, celebrated the series’ cancellation on Twitter. 

“Cops has officially been CANCELLED off @paramountnet after our conversation with them this week and after millions of our members raised their voices to say stop #NormalizingInjustice,” they wrote. 

The organization’s VP and chief of campaigns, Arisha Michelle, added in a separate tweet, “Crime TV plays a significant role in advancing distorted representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture & #Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers.” 

A&E offers a similar program called Live PD that follows police activity across a variety of cities at the same time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network pulled an episode slated to air on June 5, and it’s still uncertain when the series will return.


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