‘Cops’ Has Resumed Filming Following Cancellation

Published on October 5, 2020

Cops was canceled in June. The Paramount Network no longer wanted to air the famous series. The call happened during protests and conversations surrounding police brutality following the death of George Floyd and the loss of other innocent Black Americans. For many critics, the show depicting policing was no longer relevant or sensitive to the times. After the show’s cancellation, however, the popular program has recently resumed filming. 

Over these past few weeks, Cops has been filming all over Spoke County, Washington. The episodes won’t air in the United States, though, and only in foriegn territories to fulfill contractual obligations. “We have a longstanding relationship with Cops and [series producer] Langley Productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. Cops resumed filming last month and will continue shooting until early November. 

The 33rd season of the famous reality series was to debut this summer. After the killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests, Paramount canceled the series on June 9th. WGN America, the owner of off-network rights to Cops, decided against renewing their contract with the makers of the television show. Cops isn’t the only law enforcement-related show to get pulled off the air this year. A & E halted filming on Live PD.

Critics called the old Fox series cop propaganda, with mostly positive depictions of law enforcement. Spokane County Sheriff, Ozzie Knezovich, believes the public should see his men and women in uniform on the job. “Shows like Cops highlight the work of law enforcement,” he said.  “They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out. People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well Deputies and Officers adjust and respond appropriately. They show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.” 

A spokesperson for Langley Productions, which is the producer of the series, clarified to The Hollywood Reporter the episodes will not air in the United States. It’s safe to assume most major networks and streaming services would not host the series, based on the conversations surrounding it. Plus, the series has already been on the air for over 30 years. That’s more than enough life and airtime for a reality show or any show. 

Famously, Cops was a hit on Fox for over 25 years. Everyone knew the theme song, the intro, and the whole setup for the series. It was a major part of pop culture, often referenced in movies and television shows. In 2013, Fox was no longer hosting the show, so it moved to Spike TV. A few years ago, Spike TV rebranded as the Paramount Network. The network is now behind the hit Kevin Costner series, Yellowstone, among other programs. 

Cops ran for six seasons on the Paramount Network. The network is now moving away from reality television in general. As for Cops, the network gave the show no fond farewell, as most networks and streaming services do when they cancel shows. Back in June, all Paramount Network had to say about pulling the plug on the series was: “Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return.”

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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