“Cops,” a staple of broadcast TV that featured various U.S. police officers as they made their runs in cities across the nation, will get a new turn as a show on Fox Nation, the streaming-video service backed by Fox News Media.
Fox Nation intends to launch a 33rd season of the show on October 1, when it will unveil four new episodes. Plans call for Fox Nation to drop a new episode of the series weekly on Friday nights. The streaming outlet will also show 15 episodes from the show’s 32nd season. As part of the launch, Fox Nation will offer a free one-year subscription to police, firefighters and emergency responders.
“‘Cops’ is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base,” said Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, in a statement. The series got its start in 1989 on the then-fledgling Fox broadcast network and quickly became a pillar of its Saturday-night schedule.
Shows featuring police arresting people who are disturbing the peace or in the midst of violent incidents have enjoyed solid viewership for years, but the format has come under scrutiny, particularly as the nation grappled with the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd while in custody of police in Minneapolis last year. A+E Networks canceled the popular “Live P.D.,” a reality program that generated solid ratings by tracking police officers in near real-time in various parts of the country, in the summer of 2020. “Cops,” which had been airing on ViacomCBS’ Paramount Network, was canceled at about the same time. Paramount had been running the show since 2013, after Fox opted to stop running it.
The decision to revive “Cops” puts a spotlight on growing ambitions for Fox Nation, which was originally billed as a sort of service for “superfans” of the conservative Fox News Channel. To be sure, the service continues to feature news programming anchored by Tucker Carlson and other Fox News hosts. In recent months, however, Klarman has steered the subscription outlet beyond news programming. Nancy Grace leads a true-crime program, and other offerings include series about real-estate. Fox Nation even secured rights to some of Clint Eastwood’s most popular movies from Warner Brothers.
Indeed, Fox Nation intends to launch several new series about first responders as it seeks to revive “Cops.” A ride-along series, “911: On Scene,” will track firefighters and paramedics from across the country. “When Seconds Count” will showcase footage of rescues and will be anchored by Fox News Channel’s Harris Faulkner. “Protect and Serve,” hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Ted Williams, will spotlight good deeds done by police officers. “Answer the Call” will tell stories about the children of fallen first responders, and is centered on a charity that has the same name as the show and supports families of first responders killed in the line of duty on 9/11.