Months after its cancelation at Paramount Network, Cops has quietly begun production on new episodes. Reportedly, film crews are now back to work on the show in Spokane County, Washington. However, these new episodes are only intended to air in international territories where Cops still airs, and there are still no plans for the series to return to the small screen in the United States. According to a press release from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, the film crews began shooting in September and are expected to wrap filming in early November.
"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 statement reads.
Cops was originally scheduled to premiere its 33rd season in the summer on Paramount Network. After the killing of George Floyd in May and the worldwide protests against police brutality that followed, the network pulled the program from its release schedule. The series was then officially canceled soon after with no plans to air any of the new episodes. WGN America followed suit by letting its contract for the off-network rights to the series expire in June. At the time, there was also some concern that fictional police characters could be removed from television next, such as Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU and even Chase the police dog from P.A.W. Patrol.
Meanwhile, A&E similarly canceled the popular program Live PD after Paramount gave Cops the boot, even though it had been a huge ratings hit for the network. Hosted by Dan Abrams, the series featured live feeds of various police departments working in urban and rural environments on Friday and Saturday nights. Although its cancelation saw a 49% decrease in viewership, Live PD doesn't appear to be getting a resurrection on A&E either. The network has since filled the time slot with new episodes of the spinoff series Live Rescue, which specifically follows firefighters and EMT's.
Prior to ending its run on American television after 32 seasons, Cops premiered on Fox in 1989. A documentary style series, the show followed police officers working the beat and their interactions with suspected criminals. From prostitution to domestic violence calls, almost no crime was left unexplored on the long-running show. For decades, the series has been a fixture of pop culture, and its "Bad Boys" theme is among the most memorable television theme songs in history. Still, given the nature of Floyd's killing, Paramount Network found it best not to move forward with their plans to air the police-centric series.
As of now, the future of Cops remains unclear. The new episodes currently in production are strictly to fulfill commitments in international territories where the show is still on the air. There still doesn't seem to be any indication that the series will be coming back to television in the United States anytime soon, the franchise could come to an end for good once these contractual obligations are fulfilled. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.