Cops TV show canceled : Live Updates: Protests For Racial Justice Cops, the popular TV show that was about to enter its 33rd season, has been canceled by the Paramount Network. It has been criticized for years for glorifying police and unfairly portraying suspects.
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'Cops' Show Canceled Amid Worldwide Protests Against Police Violence

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'Cops' Show Canceled Amid Worldwide Protests Against Police Violence

'Cops' Show Canceled Amid Worldwide Protests Against Police Violence

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's got one of the most recognizable theme songs on TV.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BAD BOYS")

INNER CIRCLE: (Singing) Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do? Watcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boys, bad boys...

MARTIN: But the long-running, unscripted show "Cops" has been canceled after 32 seasons. The Paramount Network dropped the show amid widespread protests nationwide about policing. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has details.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Since 1989, "Cops" has made riveting television from verite footage of arrests and emergency calls filmed by riding along with police officers. They often capture scenes of cops interacting with clueless suspects like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "COPS")

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Do you know your date of birth? OK, '86. So how old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I'm 32.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: OK. If you were born in '86, you'd be 30.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I'd be 30? I could've sworn I turned 32.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: So just be honest with me.

DEGGANS: The show's 33rd season was scheduled to debut Monday. But the Paramount Network pulled episodes of the show. The cable channel issued a terse statement Tuesday saying, quote, "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return." "Cops" is one of the first examples of unscripted, so-called reality TV. It debuted before CBS' "Survivor" or MTV's "The Real World."

But the series ends as protests following George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis officers have motivated a fresh look at how shows like "Cops" boost the image of police. A podcast dissecting the series called "Running From COPS" alleged that some officers unfairly pressured suspects to allow the show to broadcast their arrest and that some camera people were armed and overtly helped police. Host Dan Taberski says in one episode that before cellphone video, "Cops" was quote, "the dominant cultural depiction of how real policing works in America."

DAN TABERSKI: They figured out that if a TV show works with the police instead of against them, you get amazing footage and riveting television. And in turn, the police get portrayed the way they want to be portrayed.

DEGGANS: A similar show called "Live PD" is one of the most watched shows on cable. And it has been pulled off the A&E channel. A spokesman for A&E says it is not likely to come back this week. And the channel is evaluating when it may return.

Eric Deggans, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BAD BOYS")

INNER CIRCLE: (Singing) Nobody not give you no break. Police...

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