NBC has slated several police procedurals to return in the fall, despite ongoing protests calling for an end to police brutality. Some shows, including Cops and Live PD, had been temporarily pulled off the air, only to be canceled days later.
However, that's not the case with some of NBC's most popular programs, as the network announced on Tuesday that several would be returning with its upcoming fall schedule. Chicago P.D., part of the One Chicago franchise, will return to its Wednesday night slot following sister series Chicago Med and Chicago Fire. Additionally, the police-centric sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back for its third season on NBC and eighth overall, while Law & Order: SVU will be back for its 22nd season, both of which will air Thursday night. There's also a new Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, which will feature the return of Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler.
While the announcement didn't come with any specific mention of the protests, NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy did allude to current events. "Our brand has always championed positive programming, and the events of this year have allowed us the time to take pause, examine our business with a new lens and take some immediate action," Telegdy explained. "Since many of our writers' rooms have not yet opened, we are taking this opportunity to offer all of this season's showrunners the chance to enrich their team with an additional diverse writer at any level. It is not the solution by any means, but it is something we can do right now to take a positive step."
The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed by police during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Days later, people took to the streets in several U.S. cities, calling for a drastic reformation of police departments nationwide. While some protests led to rioting, there were numerous accounts of police acting with undue force, which led to several conversations about the role that cop shows play in popular culture.
Both Cops and Live PD were recently taken off the air amid the protests, both of which employed a reality-TV approach to police work, embedding camera crews with officers as they were out on patrol. "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 network said on June 9.