Given that the protests are against police brutality and systemic racism, both networks felt it inappropriate to air new episodes of the two television series about police officers.
“Out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives, in consultation with the departments we follow, and in consideration for the safety of all involved, we have made the decision not to broadcast ‘Live PD’ this weekend,” said A&E in its official statement.
Cops was set to make its Season 33 debut on Monday, June 8, while Live PD was meant to have new episodes air on June 5 and 6.
Instead of airing Cops, Paramount Network will air a Ghostbusters double feature with the original 1984 film followed by its 1989 sequel in the reality show’s former time slot.
A network rep confirmed to TVLine that “there are currently no plans to run any new ‘Cops’ episodes in the future.”
According to Variety, Paramount Network has already removed all mentions of Cops from their website, which would appear to indicate that they have no intention of letting the series return. That said, they have not yet publicly commented on the status of the long-running show.
Despite its initial popularity when it began in 1989, Cops has “come under fire” in recent years “for how it depicts law enforcement, and for questionable behind the scenes practices.”
While Cops has received its fair share of criticism, Live PD has fared much better on A&E, but it is not yet clear when the fourth season will return with new episodes.
The A&E series “follows cops and sheriffs — live, in real-time, as they patrol various cities and counties across the country.”
It has become a massive hit for A&E and has a much better chance of returning than Cops does at Paramount, although nothing has yet been confirmed.
Regarding Live PD, there is no planned date for when the fourth season will return. However, the spinoff series Live Rescue is set to air this weekend. Instead of police officers, Live Rescue follows firefighters and other first responders like paramedics and EMTs.
The decision made to pull both cop shows has been met with a mixed response on social media. Some users are in favor of the networks’ decisions, while others felt like it was overkill. Many folks were simply upset by the fact their favorite show was going to be off the air for an unforeseen amount of time.