Some changes are coming to CBS police procedurals, including Blue Bloods and NCIS. Following several months of civil rights protests, the network has teamed up with 21CP Solutions, a law enforcement and public safety advisory group, to consult with producers and better inform their portrayal of their characters in uniform. NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner R. Scott Gemmill praised the announcement.
"Having an audience of millions of viewers each week comes with a great deal of responsibility," Gemmill said, according to TVLine. "This new partnership will help us ensure that our storytelling continues to produce accurate portrayals of law enforcement, and will hopefully allow us to play a small part in the ongoing reform moving forward." Tiffany Smith-Anoa'i, ViacomCBS' EVP of Diversity and Inclusion, also commented on the matter. "Providing our writing staffs with the best and most knowledgeable technical advisers offers more inclusivity and perspective. With deeper and richer narratives, our shows can convey experiences that are more authentic to the communities they depict."
The move by CBS has marked the latest shift in the TV landscape in the wake of the protests, which have called for widespread police reform and an end to systemic violence directed toward minorities. They were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed by arresting officer Derek Chauvin on May 26.
The reality series Cops and Live PD were both taken off the air. A&E stated the decision to pull Live PD was made both "out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives." It was also made "in consideration for the safety of all involved." The network added the decision was made "in consultation with the departments" that are featured on the series.
On the scripted front, the One Chicago franchise, Law & Order: SVU and the new spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime will also address the changing landscape. Even the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine will acknowledge those events. Star Terry Crews Crews told Access Hollywood that showrunner Dan Goor and the writers "had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash." He said that they now have to start the season "over" and determine "which direction it's going to go in," though, at the time, he wasn't sure what that direction might be.