Long-running US TV show 'Cops' is axed after 31 years on screen

Ben ArnoldContributor
Yahoo Movies UK
Cops (Credit: Fox)
Cops (Credit: Fox)

Cops, the true-crime docu-series that has run on US TV for 31 years, has been axed by the Paramount Network in the wake of the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The show was pulled from screens following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody on 25 May.

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Now the network has confirmed that it has no plans to bring it back.

Read more: HBO pulls Gone With The Wind from streaming platform

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

The show first aired in 1989 on the Fox network, running for 25 seasons before moving to Spike TV in 2013, later rebranded as the Paramount Network in 2018.

It broadcast its 1,000th episode in 2017 with a special show hosted by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews.

However, it had long come under fire for the action on screen, with long-standing accusations of racial profiling from programme makers.

<em>Cops</em>. (Paramount)
Cops. (Paramount)

Studies of viewers over years showed that they associated violent crime more with black and minority ethnic people than white people.

“For more than 30 years, Cops has miseducated the public and normalised injustice," Arisha Hatch, vice president of civil rights group Color Of Change, told EW.

“Crime television encourages the public to accept the norms of over-policing and excessive force and reject reform, while supporting the exact behaviour that destroys the lives of Black people. Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers.

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“Now it’s time for other networks to cancel similarly harmful shows. We call on A&E to cancel Live PD next.

“In a moment when everyone wants to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, we must hold these companies accountable to put actions to words with a complete industry overhaul.”

The show's cancellation follows news that HBO Max is to temporarily pull Gone With The Wind from its streaming platform.

The Oscar-winning film – the highest-grossing of all time – will be reinstated at a later date along “with 'a discussion of its historical context”.

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