Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Cops is quietly filming new episodes—but only for non-U.S. audiences

Cops co-creator John Langley
Cops co-creator John Langley
Photo: Todd Oren/Getty Images for Langley Productions

Four months after being canceled by the Paramount Network—amidst the opening weeks of a still-fervent protest movement denouncing the treatment of Black people and other minorities by America’s police—long-running reality series Cops has apparently begun filming episodes again. This is per The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that the show has been seen filming in Spokane County, Washington, one of its favorite shooting locations for several of its 30-plus years on the air. (The show faces stiffer resistance within Spokane city limits, where it’s now required to be licensed and get written consent to show “participants” on air, but the county itself is still more open to the program’s presence.)

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Of course, the major question here is who has uncanceled the show, and where will these new episodes actually run? Not anywhere Stateside, apparently; that’s per THR, which reached out to Langley Productions—the studio that actually films the series—to see what was up with these new episodes being filmed for an allegedly dead show. As it turns out, while Cops is off the air in the U.S., it has not been canceled in some non-American markets, and the studio still owes them some episodes. So now we all get to think about the idea of imported American police work—often alleged to disproportionately target minorities, the poor, and the mentally ill—serving as entertainment around the world for a little while longer. Pleasant!

THR doesn’t note how many episodes Langley Productions will have to film to meet its international commitments. It seems unlikely, at present, that the show will extend those runs past what it’s already contracted for, though; the studio has also stated that none of the filmed episodes will air in the U.S.

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