Four months after Paramount Network pulled the plug on one of TV’s longest-running reality shows, “Cops” appears to have been resurrected from the dead.
In response to the historic Black Lives Matters projects in June following George Floyd’s death, the show — which aired for 25 seasons on Fox before being cancelled, and was subsequently revived by Paramount Network — was cancelled a second time.
However, it appears that “Cops” isn’t as cancelled as imagined.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state confirmed that two “Cops” camera crews had been riding along with deputies throughout September and would be continuing through the first week in November.
However, THR notes that those episodes will not be aired in the U.S., and are only being filmed in order to fulfill the show’s pre-existing contracts in international markets where the show airs.
“We have a longstanding relationship with ‘Cops’ and Langley productions [the studio behind Cops], and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
“‘Cops’ film crews have ridden with Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley deputies for many years,” the statement continues. “During that time, they have documented segments of the great work our deputies continually provide. This allows the viewer a glimpse of what takes place during a deputy’s shift and how unpredictable any situation can be.”
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was quoted in the press statement, defending not just the show but the genre as a whole.
“Shows like ‘Cops’ highlight the work of law enforcement. They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out. People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well deputies and officers adjust and respond appropriately,” said Knezovich, noting that these types of series “show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.”
Knezovich, by the way, has been a vocal supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, and was once criticized for claiming that the policies of former President Barack Obama had led to his officers being “hunted and assassinated.”