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The Glorious Reign of ‘COPS’ on Fox May Be Coming to an End

The Glorious Reign of 'COPS' on Fox May Be Coming to an End

For the past 25 years, ‘Cops’ has been bringing us the stories of police officers as they encounter shirtless drunks, belligerent prostitutes and clueless thieves. It’s one of the longest-running shows on television and remains an intensely guilty pleasure, but its upcoming season, which starts next month, may be its last, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In order to make room for sports, Fox has reduced the number of episodes it typically orders, leading ‘Cops’ co-creator John Langley to call the show’s future “uncertain and problematic.” In fact, Fox ordered only 16 episodes for the upcoming season, down from 45.

To date, the show has earned $400 million in reruns alone, but it consistently gets bumped for college football and other sports. Fox is being cagey about the show’s future and has only said there’s no official decision yet. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the end. If not renewed, the show’s creators may bring it to cable instead.

Whatever the fate of the venerable show, today’s current crop of reality TV owes ‘Cops’ a huge debt. Without it, there’d be no ‘Steven Seagal: Lawman,’ ‘Lizard Lick Towing’ or ‘Parking Wars.’ Hell, there probably wouldn’t even be a ‘Billy the Exterminator.’ So, join us in (possibly) mourning the granddaddy of them all.

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