After being pulled off the air last year, the reality show “Cops” makes its return to Fox News Media’s streaming service Fox Nation.
The hit documentary-style show depicting the daily work of law enforcement was cancelled from cable television by the ViacomCBS-owned Paramount Network last year after the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed.
According to the LA Times, the controversial show is back for a 33rd season after Fox Nation acquired 33 new episodes from Langley Productions, in addition to 15 unaired shows from last season.
Episodes will be aired beginning Oct. 1 on Fox Nation, a Fox-owned streaming platform featuring talk show hosts, documentary programming, true-crime shows and other series.
The move is likely to generate criticism. The civil rights advocacy group Color of Change first pressured the Fox Broadcast Network – which aired the show before the Paramount Network took over – to cancel the show after the 2012 shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.
Critics argued that the show did not accurately represent law enforcement work and exaggerates criminal activity involving Black suspects.
“Cops,” as well as other law enforcement-related shows such as A&E Network’s “Live PD,” were dropped by their respective networks following the death of George Floyd and the national conversation on policing and race relations.
Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, believes that Fox’s audience will be happy with the move to bring the show back; Fox’s viewers tend to be politically conservative and supportive of law enforcement.
Fox runs very little risk adding the show to their streaming service, which is not ad-supported and therefore is protected from potential boycotts.
“It’s very acceptable to our audience who are cops and first responders and people from the military,” Klarman said. “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.”
Klarman was not worried about the potential backlash over the decision.
“It’s on a subscription service,” Klarman said. “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.”
However, Klarman said that Fox Nation will be sensitive towards the racial makeup of the suspects shown in the new season.
“Part of our vetting process included a review of the offenders to be featured in the new season and ensuring that the shows would be representative of the entire population,” he said.
“Cops’” return comes after the passing of the show’s creator John Langley earlier this year.