The truth behind the TV show Cops

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  • Published on:  Thursday, May 2, 2019
  • The longest-running reality show in The US.Join the Video Lab! to the "Running From Cops" podcast:“When it premiered, “Cops” was one of the first reality television shows and it has been broadcasting continuously since 1989. In this video, we worked with the podcast “Running From Cops” to understand why the show has stayed on TV for so long. At the time it was selected for development by Fox executive Stephen Chao, the writer’s strike of 1988 had created a desire for unscripted television that didn’t require hiring union talent. But once “Cops” was on the air, it was the vision of “Cops” creator John Langley that would make the show last. He understood that the show presented a new opportunity for law enforcement agencies and it was his approach to making “Cops” that has kept police interested in appearing on the show. While “Cops” no longer has the high TV ratings it garnered during the nineties, it has been a persistent presence on television and it has spawned several imitators, including the very popular show “Live PD”. Like “Cops”, these shows use variations of a reality format developed by “Cops” that features police performing their daily duties. The stripped-down format has remained nearly the same since the show began in 1989 and during the thirty years since “Cops” has had the same agreement with police that agree to appear on the reality show. To learn what that agreement is, make sure to watch the video above.To learn even more about “Cops”, make sure to listen to “Running From Cops”: a podcast that investigates various aspects of “Cops” and examines its cultural impact on policing on America. Sources:2018 ratings (“Roseanne” no longer running):“New York Times”, January 7, 1989“Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” March 11, 1989“Arizona Republic” March 10, 1989“The Californian” November 24, 2015“Cops” filming locations:“Cops” viewership:“Law Enforcement and Crime on ‘Cops’ and ‘World’s Wildest Police Videos’: Anecdotal Form and the Justification of Racial Profiling” Theodore O. Prosise, & Ann Johnson p. 74 is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:
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  • Vox


     3 months ago +501

    If you want to learn more about the TV show Cops, make sure to check out the podcast "Running From Cops". Listen here:

  • Most Hated

    Most Hated

     3 months ago +6477

    Seeing shirtless crackheads get tackled behind gas stations never gets old.

  • Jackie chan_WTF

    Jackie chan_WTF

     3 months ago +2547

    Officer : is there weed on you?
    Guy : no papi
    Officer : Don't call me papi
    Guy : okay papi
    😅😅😅 anyone remember that episode?

  • BOMBON187


     3 months ago +1090

    3:12 Why am I not surprised that the show started in Florida.

  • Sean M

    Sean M

     3 months ago +671

    I’m so happy he didn’t say it was staged

  • David Thatcher

    David Thatcher

     3 months ago +879

    My favorite line from Cops:
    "I may be a ho but at least I'm not a crack ho!"

  • sam


     3 months ago +573

    Writer's Striker of 1988 created Cops
    Writer's Stike of 2007 created Keeping Up with the Kardashians

  • Grace Gonzales

    Grace Gonzales

     3 months ago +217

    I knew someone who's Arkansas hometown got featured a bit. He said he randomly started watching it and was like,
    (city is announced) "That's my city!"
    (Police car driving) "I know that street!"
    (guy being chased by cops) "I KNOW THAT GUY!!!"

  • Sinister Footwear II

    Sinister Footwear II

     3 months ago +411

    Cops: We got a monopoly going here, we're unstoppable
    Live PD: I'm about to ruin this man's career

  • Ellow


     3 months ago +127

    What if Bush just started lighting up that would be hilarious.

  • Jesse Conlan

    Jesse Conlan

     3 months ago +44

    "We have become a very professional, strong ornagzzzizzation"

  • john smith

    john smith

     3 months ago +265

    bush talking about drugs killing people lol he was smuggling drugs on military planes

  • DChaveit415


     3 months ago +49

    I prefer the old COPS tv episodes from the 80’s and 90’s.

  • London England

    London England

     3 months ago +38

    Crackheads are like the witches of medieval Europe. People enjoy spooky stories about witches, but those are real people, and the Inquisition doesn't treat them as such.

  • Kim Jong-un

    Kim Jong-un

     3 months ago +3191

    Cops is filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

  • Dominick Taylor

    Dominick Taylor

     3 months ago +157

    Kinda feel hoodwinked by your title. Not really what I expected

  • 0bvi0us Plant

    0bvi0us Plant

     3 months ago +32

    "We have become a very powerful orn-ganation"

  • planetrob555


     3 months ago +40

    5:26 "organnnazazation". If I slurred that word during a traffic stop, I'd probably be arrested for suspicion of DUI. Wonder if that guy was VUI...Videoed Under Influence.

  • Stephen Miller

    Stephen Miller

     3 months ago +14

    He was in the white house doing that crack.

  • Mark Steenson

    Mark Steenson

     3 months ago +2879

    Cops is what made me want to become a career criminal. Now I'm a copper salesman/unlicensed fisherman.