Production on “Cops,” the reality TV series about American police officers that was cancelled in June, has resumed production in Spokane County, Washington — but new episodes will not air in the United States.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that the crews on the show have been quietly working in the county, where the show has been filmed several times in the past. A spokesperson for Langley Productions, which produces “Cops,” told the publication that the episodes were being filmed to fulfill commitments in international territories where the show has continued to air.
“We have a longstanding relationship with ‘Cops’ and Langley Productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The show, a reality crime program that follows police officers and sheriffs deputies as they patrol the streets and perform other police duties, premiered on Fox in 1989 and was one of the longest-running television shows in the nation. “Cops” was picked up by Spike TV in 2013 and stayed with the network after it rebranded to Paramount Network in 2018.
Though “Cops” was a ratings success throughout its 33-season run, the show was canceled shortly after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer in late May. “Cops” was canceled by Paramount Network in early June; at the time, a spokesperson for Paramount Network told IndieWire that it had no current or future plans for the show to return.
The police killing of Floyd has sparked nationwide protests regarding police brutality and systemic racism and impacted the entertainment industry in other ways beyond one cancelation. A&E Network canceled its “Live PD” series in early June, while a variety of television shows that utilized blackface were edited or removed from streaming services and other television distribution platforms. In late June, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews said four episodes of the acclaimed police comedy series’ upcoming season had been scrapped after “somber talks about it and deep conversations.”
IndieWire’s Tambay Obenson reported in June that police procedurals glamorize police officers, resulting in a “dishonest cycle that miseducates the public about the criminal justice system by advancing distorted representations of crime, race, and gender.”