Last week, as protests against police violence and racial injustice were happening all over the world, both A&E and the Paramount Network wisely decided to pull two of TV’s most notable examples of so-called “copaganda” from their schedules, with A&E taking Live PD off the airwaves and Paramount doing the same to Cops. Live PD’s hiatus was originally limited to the weekend, with A&E saying in a statement that it was being done “out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives”—with apparently no mention of how people like George Floyd “lost their lives”—but the network is reportedly still trying to decide when it will be the right time to resume airing the show (though it’s hard to imagine a time when people are ready to watch a TV show about real-life cops doing questionably real and questionably legal cop stuff again).
It seems the Paramount Network had a similar thought, actually, because it has just confirmed that its decision to pull Cops is now going to be permanent. As reported by Deadline, Paramount has canceled the show, saying in a very direct and straightforward statement that, “Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return.” Cops originally ran for 25 seasons on Fox, but it was resurrected in 2013 by Spike TV and continued on as Spike was rebranded into the Paramount Network. Deadline also notes that a new season of Cops was supposed to premiere yesterday, so the fact that it’s being completely canceled means it’s hard to interpret this as anything other than a reaction to current events (even if Paramount didn’t specifically say that in its statement).
The Deadline story doesn’t say how Cops did ratings-wise, but Live PD is known to be one of the biggest and most popular shows on cable. That’s something to keep in mind if/when that show comes back.
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.