Television networks which have relied heavily on pro-police programming to get ratings for years, are now rushing to find ways to either modify their cop shows or replace them entirely. At issue are the anti-cop protests sweeping the United States, with many calling for the police to be disbanded entirely. Others are cancelling or banning shows which contain any controversy at all, and there are plenty of those.
Live PD Cancelled, A&E Ratings Plummet
Live PD, a documentary show in A&E which showcased the real life of police officers protecting the streets, was cancelled on June 11, 2020. When the protests began A&E quickly moved to put the show on hiatus, but now it has been completely cancelled.
Before the cancellation of Live PD, A&E’s ratings had been up 4% in 2020. Now their post-cancellation numbers are in, and it’s not good. Average primetime viewership between the period of June 11 to July 19 has now dropped 49% from what it was previously. In key demos like 18-49 and 25-54 the percentage of drop is actually above 50%.
The drop isn’t just because they’ve had to replace Live PD with inferior programming, it seems some users are leaving the network in protest and avoiding other shows which they used to watch. Total daily average viewers is now down 36% from earlier in the year.
Host Dan Abrams had this to say on Twitter after hearing the news that Live PD was cancelled: “Shocked & beyond disappointed about this. To the loyal #LivePDNation please know I, we, did everything we could to fight for you, and for our continuing effort at transparency in policing. I was convinced the show would go on.”
Cops Cancelled In Response To Protests
The Paramount Network, the company which syndicated the show, has cancelled the long-running TV series Cops. It was first pulled from the schedule but now the trades have confirmed it is officially cancelled as of June 9, 2020.
Speaking on the show’s cancellation Paramount says, “Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return.” The network which was currently airing the show, A&E, had already pulled episodes citing sensitivity over the killing of George Floyd by police officers.
The TV series Cops has been on television for decades. It aired for 25 years on the Fox network before going into syndication on other networks. Recently it had been airing on the A&E Network. A&E also airs another pro-police documentary series called Live PD. No word yet on whether that show will also be cancelled though A&E has suspended airing new episodes for the same reason they pulled Cops.
Cops was by no means the only show on television which glorified police officers. With calls to defund or ban the police entirely ringing throughout the United States of America, some of those other shows are likely to receive scrutiny.
Here’s a list of the pro-cop shows currently airing on primetime television just on the big four television networks alone.
- The Rookie – Nathan Fillion stars as a man in his forties who joins the police force to become their oldest rookie in history.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine – A police-themed comedy in which police officers are portrayed as funny and friendly.
- Chicago PD – A show following uniformed police officers pursuing “criminals”.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – A show following a police detective solving crimes which mirror real world events.
- Blue Bloods – Tom Selleck stars as a New York police commissioner and explores the life of a family of police officers and the way they cover for each other.
- FBI – Follows the inner workings of the New York Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Since this is about Federal cops rather than local ones, it may not be considered problematic.
- FBI: Most Wanted – A spinoff of FBI with the same built in exception.
- Evil – A show following a forensic psychologist investigating paranormal events. Technically the lead isn’t a cop, so like FBI this may not be considered problematic.
- 9-1-1 – Angela Basset stars as an LAPD Patrol Sergeant. It’s hard to imagine Basset wanting to continue being a part of this show, given her solid support for the BLM movement.
- L.A.’s Finest – Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba star in a show about LAPD officers. Both Alba and Union have voiced strong support for the defunding of police and the BLM movement, don’t be surprised if they quit the show before it gets cancelled.
There are of course dozens of other current pro-cop television programs airing on other channels. There are also literally hundreds of older pro-cop shows available on streaming apps and streaming channels. With movies like Gone With The Wind being pulled from streaming due to conflicting with the Black Lives Matter movement, it seems like only a matter of time before those older shows are no longer viable products as well.
Paw Patrol Dog Accused Of Being A Racist Cop
With Cops cancelled protest groups can now move on to bigger targets in entertainment, and they’re taking one of the biggest: Paw Patrol. Or at least that’s what the mainstream media is claiming.
For those of you without kids, Paw Patrol is a television show for preschoolers about a group of rescue dogs. One of the dogs, named Chase, is a cop and drives around in an approximation of a police car. And now mainstream media thinks Black Lives Matter wants it taken off the air.
It started when Paw Patrol tweeted a message of support for Black Lives Matter and got responses like this…
ACAB means “All Cops Are Bad”. Those initial responses were serious. But then The Onion tried to make fun of it…
And then others joined in mocking it…
But for some reason mainstream media decided to pretend everyone was serious. The NY Times is covering it and claiming Black Lives Matter is after Paw Patrol for being pro-cop and now Paw Patrol is the top trending topic on Twitter.
It’s all a big joke, one the mainstream media like the NY Times is reporting as real.
What’s not a joke is that protest groups are really considering and have been targeting shows like Brookline Nine-Nine. Yet there’s little coverage of that.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Makes Changes To Avoid Being Banned
The comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine is trying to get ahead of the problem and mitigate their cancellation risk by making changes to their upcoming season. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews (who has himself become the target of boycotts by Black Lives Matter supporters for his views on their movement) had this to say about what they’re doing: “We actually all got on a Zoom call just the other day because of what’s happening in this country. We were witnessing so many abuses of power. We had some somber talks and some really, really eye-opening conversation about how to handle this new season.“
The show will try to avoid Black Lives Matter cancellation by tackling issues of racism and police brutality. That seems like the opposite of what people might want in a comedy, but they believe it’s their best play to adapt their pro-cop show to today’s anti-cop cultural norms.