After becoming a casualty of the anti-police hysteria that swept the nation in 2020, the television show “Cops” is set to make a comeback for streaming audiences — but will it survive a woke tweak?
Paramount Network canceled the reality show in June 2020, just ahead of the debut of its 33rd season, according to The Guardian.
Though no official reason was provided, the cultural climate of the country had become hostile to police officers following the death of George Floyd in May of last year.
That incident, of course, sparked hundreds of anti-police riots across the country and led some cities to defund their police departments.
It seemed that “Cops” — which had been criticized for its supposed glorification of police violence and portrayal of minority suspects in an unfavorable light — was given a death sentence.
But now 33 new episodes and 15 reruns are coming to Fox Nation, a subscription streaming service that does not rely on ad revenue and therefore is impervious to calls for sponsor boycotts and other pressure tactics, according to the Los Angeles Times.
After Oct. 1, when four episodes will be unveiled to subscribers, a new one will be made available each week.
A promo for the new season released on Monday features what has made the show a fan favorite since its debut more than 30 years ago — there are drug busts, lying suspects and heart-pounding foot chases.
A free one-year subscription will be offered to first responders, and Fox News Media has pledged to donate $5 to Answer the Call, a non-profit that benefits the families of fallen New York City first responders, for every new subscription this week.
Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, is confident that audiences will respond positively to the new iteration of “Cops.”
“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,” he added.
The series first debuted on the Fox network in 1989 before moving in 2013 to Paramount, which was known as Spike TV at the time.
Klarman is unconcerned about backlash and has some advice for anyone who doesn’t approve of the show’s messaging.
“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,” he said.
However, Klarman promised to pay careful attention to the races of the people included in the show.
“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.
It’s obvious why Fox Nation would want to resurrect “Cops,” even if it has long been a target of the left.
With the drama, grit and action that was previously only scripted on shows like “Dragnet” or “Miami Vice,” audiences have been taken along for the ride with actual on-duty police officers.
The popularity of “Cops” laid the groundwork for the glut of reality shows in the decades to come as the genre threatened to unseat the sitcom as the king of television.
Those of us old enough to remember this revolution had front-row seats to foot chases through backyards in dark neighborhoods and fast-paced vehicle pursuits that ended with the good guys catching and cuffing the bad guys.
Viewers got to see justice served, and in the process couldn’t help but appreciate the brave men and women who were willing to put their lives on the line to keep us safe — and that’s why the woke mob hated it.
The new season of the show should have no trouble keeping its previous following and picking up new fans — as long as it sticks to what made it a hit in the first place.
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