Fox to bring back ‘Cops’ following cancellation amid Floyd protests

Fox Nation will offer a free subscription to police officers

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The 33rd season of the reality show Cops will return next month after being canceled last year amid the scrutiny and protest against law enforcement following the killing of George Floyd

Paramount Network pulled the plug on the unscripted series ahead of the Season 33 premiere that was set to air June 8, 2020, theGrio previously reported. Fox Nation announced Monday it will begin streaming the season on October 1, along with 15 episodes from season 32. The service will offer a free subscription to all first responders including police offers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, The Hill, reports. 

“‘Cops’ is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base. We wanted to show our appreciation to all first responders by combining the launch with a free one-year subscription to give back in a small way to those who place their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Jason Klarman, the president of Fox Nation, said in a statement.

In the wake of nationwide protests in 2020 following the police-involved deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Javier Ambler in Williamson County, TX, the Paramount Network dropped the series, theGRIO reported. Fox Nation will debut the first four episodes of Season 33 on Oct. 1, with new episodes dropping weekly on Friday nights.  

Cops theGrio.com
(Credit: Paramount Network)

Cops premiered on Fox in 1989 and ran for 25 seasons. The network canceled the show in 2013 before it found a home at Spike TV. In 2017, Cops celebrated the 1,000th episode of the controversial show with a live special hosted by Terry Crews

However, experts have said for years that the show unfairly depicted Black and brown people as perpetrators of violent crime.

Four months after canceling Cops, the Paramount Network reversed course and returned to filming the long-standing series. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a press release at the time that filming was underway in Spokane County, Washington, which has previously hosted the show, theGrio previously reported.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Cops and [series producer] Langley Productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich added that Cops would counter the narrative that law enforcement was not a benefit to communities.  

“Shows like Cops highlight the work of law enforcement. They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out,” Knezovich said.

“People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well deputies and officers adjust and respond appropriately. They show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.”

This story contains additional reporting from theGRIO’s Biba Adams and Stephanie Guerilus

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