The reality TV show Cops, a show about local police departments making arrests across the country, has finally gotten the axe on Paramount Network. The show, which first premiered on Fox News in 1989 and was revived in 2013 by the people behind Paramount, aired its last episode on June 1, when the show was pulled from the network without any plans to air future episodes, despite the fact that the 33rd season was slated to begin on June 8.
The show’s cancellation, for many, feels long overdue — and marks a changing cultural shift away from a television show that many people found to be entertaining, if trashy, reality television. Perhaps watching people get arrested is no longer fun for millions of viewers; it’s hard not to see why.
The news comes after A&E, another cable network, didn’t air last weekend’s episodes of Live PD, a television show that live-streams police officers on duty as they arrest people. The decision to not air the episodes come amid renewed scrutiny towards police violence and police department practices across the country after the murder of George Floyd and the protests that have followed.
Live PD has also faced scrutiny after an incident that happened on the show last year when police killed Javier Ambler, a 40-year-old Texas man who was stopped for a routine traffic stop that ended in a 22-minute car chase and an arrest of Ambler, who had congestive heart failure, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, and was forcibly restrained until he died. In the footage, he explained his medical condition to the arresting officer and said that he couldn’t breathe.
The incident has since been referred to as a homicide, according to a death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Live PD’s producers haven’t stated when the show will return and the network is apparently still evaluating a ‘right time’ to bring the show back.