'Cops' TV Show: Why Has Paramount Canceled 'Cops'?

Crime documentary series Cops has been canceled as a result of the death of George Floyd and the police brutality protests that are taking place across the world. Episodes of the show had already been temporarily suspended on the Paramount Network, but now the channel has confirmed that the show will not be returning permanently.

A spokesperson said: "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return."

The show, which follows police on their rounds and has been frequently criticized for glorifying their work, began life on Fox, where it aired for 25 years before being canceled for the first time. In 2013, the unscripted show was picked up by Spike TV, who since renamed themselves as the Paramount Network.

On Twitter, activist group Color of Change, who have been campaigning to get the show canceled since 2013, reacted to the news. They said in a thread: "JUST IN: #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!"

The organization followed this tweet by quoting their vice president Arisha Michelle: "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."

They concluded: "Crime shows like #Cops have a huge influence over the way the public thinks about criminal justice and by misrepresenting this system, these shows turn people against overdue reform efforts."

Color of Change was behind Fox's initial cancellation of the show in March 2013. At that time, per the New York Times, they called on advertisers to withdraw support, criticizing Cops for: "[building] a profit model around distorted and dehumanizing portrayals of black Americans and the criminal justice system...a 'reality' where the police are always competent, crime-solving heroes and where the bad boys always get caught."

While Paramount will not air new episodes of Cops, the show currently airs reruns of WGN America and the streamer Pluto TV. According to The Hollywood Reporter, WGN also plans to stop airing episodes by the end of June, when their commitment to air the show comes to an end. Pluto TV, meanwhile, has a channel that shows episodes of Cops 24 hours a day, which at time of writing is still running.

Newsweek has reached out to Pluto for comment and will update this article when we get a response.

'Cops' TV Show: Why Has Paramount Canceled 'Cops'? | Culture