After a 30-season run that took the show headlong into the era of the George Floyd murder investigation, ViacomCBS canceled reality show Cops on pay TV’s Paramount Network.
A rep for the media conglomerate’s free-to-consumer, ad-supported streaming platform Pluto TV, however, told Next TV, "At this time, the channel remains active" on the service.
The statement comes after The Information reported today that ViacomCBS are petitioning the conglomerate to take down conservative digital news channel TheFirst unless the outlet cancels a new show featuring former Fox News luminary Bill O'Reilly, which just debuted June 2.
Watcha Gonna Do?
As for rerun episodes of Cops, they're also watchable on WGN America. But Nexstar, which owns the cable network, told The Hollywood Reporter that its licensing rights for the show expire at the end of June and it has no plans to renew it.
A 33rd season of Cops was set to debut on Paramount Network Monday. But the channel stopped running the show on June 1, according to THR.
Cops has achieved a venerable TV run showcasing real video footage of arrests and other police interventions, with African-American citizenry very often at the center.
With this dynamic, it’s probably no surprise to many that the show has drawn renewed focus amid the global Black Lives Matter protest.
“Crime shows like #Cops have a huge influence over the way the public thinks about criminal justice and by misrepresenting this system, these shows turn people against overdue reform efforts,” the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change tweeted after ViacomCBS’s cancellation announcement Tuesday.
Notably, producers and distributors of knockoff reality shows have also pulled the plug on their shows. A&E has stopped running episodes of Live PD, and Investigation Discovery has cut Body Cam from its schedule.
Paramount Network began running new episodes of Cops in 2013 after the reality show was canceled by Fox. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and was launched amid the crack cocaine epidemic of the late 1980s.
As for O'Reilly's show, the ViacomCBS petitioners say, the host has “a well-documented history of making racist comments, denying the existence of systemic racism, undermining the efforts of black protesters and insulting black public figures.”
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Thank you for signing up to Next TV. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.