After 33 seasons on the air, Cops has been dropped by the Paramount Network as protests against police brutality proliferate around the world.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a spokesperson for the cable channel said in a statement Tuesday.
The show had been pulled temporarily from the air in late May, when protests aimed at police over the death of George Floyd began to gain momentum.
That move was made permanent on Tuesday.
It’s not clear whether the company that makes the show, Langley Productions, would try to find a new home for it. A voicemail at a company phone number was not accepting messages.
For years, show creator John Langley tried and failed to sell a cinéma vérité-style TV series tracking police officers on patrol. Then came the 1988 Hollywood writers strike.
“That’s when Fox bought Cops,” because a series with no narrator, no host, no script, no re-enactments sounded very good to them at the time,” Langley recalled in 2007.
The reality show, with its widely known reggae theme song Bad Boys by Inner Circle, allowed viewers to ride along with police officers on patrol in various U.S. cities.
It ran on the Fox network for 25 years until 2013, when Viacom-owned Spike TV picked it up. The show remained on the air after Spike was rebranded as the Paramount Network in 2018.