Through the 32 seasons that it was on the air, Cops provided viewers with an unfiltered look at the working lives of police officers nationwide. Its guerilla-style filming depicted arrests, both violent and non-violent, investigations, chases, and generally everything you'd expect from a busy day in the life of an American police officer.
For better or worse, the program developed a cult following, but at the height of 2020's Black Lives Matter protests, Paramount decided to cancel the show in solidarity with the cause. This decision made the show's devout viewers upset, but their feelings may be short-lived.
So, is Cops coming back to TV? Here's what we know about the future of the show.
Is 'Cops' coming back to TV? The show was revived by Fox and is set to premier in October 2021.
It appears as though canceling Cops to align with social justice initiatives was short-lived, as the controversial hit show is set to return to television, albeit at a new network. Indeed, per NBC, Fox Nation, a subscription-based streaming service under the Fox News Media umbrella, has ordered a 33rd season of the show, set to premiere on Oct. 1, 2021.
According to the publication, Fox Nation President Jason Klarman issued a statement sharing his excitement for the return of "one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base."
Furthermore, he added that to "show our appreciation to all first responders" Fox Nation will offer them a free one-year subscription beginning on Sep. 20, 2021.
The company also stated that for every new subscriber who signs up between Sep. 13, 2021, and Sep. 20, 2021, they will donate $5 to a non-profit organization called Answer the Call. This organization provides financial support to family members of New York City's first responders who died in the line of duty.
Cops was originally a product of Fox Media, but in 2013 it was canceled after 25 seasons on air. After a brief hiatus, the show relocated to Spike TV, which was a predecessor to Paramount Network.
Paramount decided to cancel Cops in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. At around the same time, A&E also canceled Live PD, another police-based TV program with a similar premise, citing solidarity with BLM.
The move to bring Cops to Fox Nation comes alongside the subscription service's efforts to expand its entire first responder-based programming portfolio. The network will also be premiering several other new programs with similar plot lines. 911: On Scene will follow firefighters and paramedics nationwide, much like Cops does. When Seconds Count, hosted by Fox News star Harris Faulkner, will center around footage of rescues.
Protect and Serve, helmed by Fox News Channel contributor Ted Williams, will focus on good deeds done by police officers. Finally, Answer the Call will serve as the visual extension of the aforementioned charity, focusing on the children of deceased first responders, particularly those who lost their lives on 9/11.