As another weekend of Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality approaches, Paramount Network and A&E are making bold moves with the airing of two popular, law-enforcement/reality-crime documentary series. Especially in the case of Cops, the move’s a significant one, given that the show was set to launch Season 33 next week on Paramount Network. As for A&E, the four-season original series won’t see airtime again anytime soon. Instead, both programs have been replaced on schedules for the foreseeable future.
Variety first reported the news while noting that Paramount Network appears to have made the decision a week ago with all mentions of the series disappearing from its website. Via Indiewire, ViacomCBS has confirmed that Paramount Network has “no plans” to air Cops anytime soon. Meanwhile, A&E has issued a statement about putting Live PD on hold, at least for the time being:
“Out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives, in consultation with the departments we follow, and in consideration for the safety of all involved, we have made the decision not to broadcast ‘Live PD’ this weekend.”
There’s no way to tell if viewers will see new Cops episodes on air again, ever, or perhaps it will shift homes again. The long-running series moved from Fox (after a few dozens seasons) to Spike TV (later rebranded as Paramount Network), and it’s entered the cultural conversation on more than one occasion for its sensationalism and at-times controversial portrayal of law enforcement. Earlier this week Paramount Network was one of many channels that participated in Blackout Tuesday by devoting 8:46 of darkened airtime to represent the duration that Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pushed his knee into George Floyd’s neck during a fatal apprehension.