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‘Cops’ comes back after cancellation following George Floyd death, sparking outrage from critics

‘Cops’ comes back after cancellation following George Floyd death, sparking outrage from critics
Fox Nation, a spinoff streaming service of Fox News, will be reviving ‘Cops’, a reality series following on-duty police officers that was axed following the death of George Floyd and increasing Black Lives Matter protests.

Fox Nation President Jason Klarman said ‘Cops’ was “one of the most iconic brands” on television in his announcement that the series would be returning on October 1 with four new episodes. One episode will drop weekly after that on Fridays. 

‘Cops’ was canceled in June of last year by the Paramount Network ahead of its 33rd season. It had previously aired on Fox for decades, then Spike TV before that was rebranded into the Paramount Network. 

Despite decades on the air, ‘Cops’ was dropped one month after George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis in May of 2020. It was caught on camera and the footage of the now-convicted former officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee against Floyd’s neck while he was already restrained and Floyd saying he couldn’t breathe kicked off numerous Black Lives Matter protests across the country and sparked heated debate about police oversight. 

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Numerous activists pointed to both fictional and unscripted programs that promoted police officers as heroes as being in bad taste, especially ‘Cops’, which has faced accusations for years of being exploitative of the criminals it shows on the air, many of them arrested for low-level drug offenses. 

The unscripted series ‘Live PD’ faced similar criticisms and was also canceled in the wake of Floyd’s death. 

The series cancellation, however, was controversial and faced heavy pushback from viewers who applauded the show’s ‘fly-on-the-wall’ approach to street-level policing. 

The series did resume production in the fall of last year in Spokane County, Washington though the episodes that were filmed have not aired in the US. 

The decision to revive the series a year after its cancellation has already triggered numerous activists, further angered by the role the conservative Fox News is playing in the return of supposed “copganda.”

“But y’all keep trying to tell folks that copganda is not real,” one Twitter user wrote in response to the reboot news. 

“Free idea: a Cops style reality show following Feds picking up Jan. 6 insurrectionists,” another added

‘Cops’ is one of a handful of new programs hitting Fox Nation that will focus on highlighting the jobs of first responders. Another series will be a ride-along series similar to ‘Cops’, but it will follow paramedics and firefighters. 

In the statement announcing the new slate of content, Klarman also said first responders will be offered free one-year subscriptions to Fox Nation, and donations will be given to the Answer the Call charity for every new subscription they receive before ‘Cops’ premieres its 33rd season. 

The ‘Cops’ cancellation may also not be the only temporary axing in response to cultural concerns. Former ‘Live PD’ host Dan Abrams wrote on his personal blog last week that there is significant interest in bringing the series back on the air in one form or another. 

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