'Cops' Canceled at Paramount Network Amid Worldwide Police Brutality Protests

The Paramount Network has permanently canceled the long-running reality series Cops. The show famously paired camera crews with police as they patrolled their cities, and like a number of cop-oriented shows, has been viewed in a new light in the wake of ongoing protests against police brutality. Cops had previously been pulled temporarily by the network, but as The Hollywood Reporter noted, that decision is now permanent.

"Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return," a spokesperson said in a statement. The decision comes after the reality series had a 25-season run on Fox, which helped put the broadcast network on the map. It was later picked up by Spike TV, Paramount's predecessor, back in 2013. After Spike rebranded into the Paramount Network in 2018, new episodes continued, as well as the syndication rights to all past seasons.

Season 33 of Cops was initially scheduled to premiere on Monday, but the network hasn't aired any episodes since at least June 1. The show was pulled amid growing protests against police brutality that were sparked by George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who was killed by police during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. In addition to the cancellation, the show has also been scrubbed from the Paramount Network website.

In a similar decision, A&E announced that it was pulling episodes of Live PD from its schedule "out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives." In a statement to Variety, the network said the decision came "in consideration for the safety of all involved" and "in consultation with the departments" that are featured on the series. The show, which premiered in 2016, utilized a similar format, showcasing real police officers while they were out on patrol.

The protests began just days after the May 25 death of George Floyd. Not long after, people began marching in response to ongoing, widespread complaints about police brutality, citing the numerous deaths of minorities and calling for widespread police reform. The protests have led to some cities implementing significant changes to how they fund their departments — including Minneapolis, where Floyd was arrested and later killed.