TV’s Cops Has Been Resurrected For New Season Over A Year After Cancellation

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Before Cops was canceled last year amid nationwide protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of law enforcement, the show was a fixture of reality TV, running for 32 seasons on Fox before getting picked up by Spike TV (prior to its Paramount rebranding). And in a move that’s sure to delight some and enrage others, Cops is being resurrected for a 33rd season, but in a slightly different format than fans are accustomed to.

Fox Nation, the subscription streaming service operated by Fox News Media, will air the 33rd season of Cops, which [continued filming]( even after its U.S. cancellation in order to fulfill its commitments in international territories. While Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, acknowledges that returning as a streaming show rather than to a network might limit the viewing audience, he told The Los Angeles Times that the show is being made available for its most loyal longtime viewers:

It’s very acceptable to our audience who are cops and first responders and people from the military. I think they are big fans of the show and they miss the show. Putting it on a streaming subscription service isn’t making it available to everyone but it will be there for the people who desire it the most.

Fox Nation will stream 33 new episodes, plus 15 from Cops Season 32 with a premiere date of Friday, October 1. Though Cops’ 2020 cancellation was never explicitly said to be a result of scrutiny surrounding law enforcement tactics, the series’ resurrection for U.S. audiences will no doubt have its obvious critics. Jason Klarman addressed that issue, saying that making Cops part of the subscription service nullifies the arguments against it:

It’s on a subscription service. It’s not over the free airwaves. If you don’t like the show, don’t subscribe. Cops shows cops working, and it’s an unvarnished look at that.

That explanation isn’t likely to placate critics of the controversial law enforcement series, as Cops had its share of controversy even before the tragic events of 2020. Cops was far from the only show that was affected amid the nation's calls for police reform and social change. A&E’s hit reality series Live PD was also pulled from the air and ultimately canceled after reports that the show filmed the March 2019 death of Javier Ambler while he was in police custody.

Fictional shows as well were affected, as series including NBC's Law & Order: SVU, CBS' S.W.A.T., ABC drama Station 19 and even Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine adjusted their narratives to address the social issues.

Season 33 of Cops was set to premiere on the Paramount Network on June 8, but the network quietly changed its programming schedule, showing Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II instead. The program’s official cancellation came the next day, June 9. Now, those new episodes of Cops will be released on Fox Nation beginning Friday, October 1, with a four-episode premiere, followed by a new episode every Friday. Stay up to date on all of the other upcoming fall premieres with our 2021 Fall TV Schedule.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.