The Cops TV show is a police action series on the FOX Network that aired for 30 minutes from March of 1989 to December of 1990 when it was expanded to 60 minutes, consisting of two 30-minute episodes. It puts viewers right inside the patrol cars with cops from mostly major metropolitan areas across the U.S. There are no scripts or narrators. Audiences see exactly what happens on typical police calls with the only dialog being that from the police officers, perpetrators, and witnesses.
Cops Theme Song Lyrics
Title: "Bad Boys"
Performed By: "Inner Circle"Bad boys bad boys
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you
Bad boys, bad boys
Watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you
When you were eight
Bad boys, bad boys
You chuck it on this one
Nobody naw give you no break
Cops TV Show Opening Narrative:
Season 1:"COPS is filmed on location as it happens. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law".
Season 2-Present:"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".
Before FOX agreed to run the Cops TV show, ABC, CBS, and NBC all rejected it! Their lawyers said that it was a legal nightmare!
The first nationwide episode of Cops was broadcast on March 11, 1989. The original idea was that the show would not only follow cops on the job, it would also go home with them and show what effects their jobs had on their personal lives. It didn't take long for John Langley to see that the more exciting "on the job" segments were the main interest to audiences and the home segments were pretty boring in comparison so the home segments were dropped.
There were some episodes of Cops that aired on select FOX channels in early 1989 before the nationwide premiere in March.
Cops had some pretty dramatic competition when it premiered in March of 1989. It was on Saturday evenings from 9:00 to 9:30PM. At that time, ABC was airing "Police Story". That show was very popular and was similar to Cops in that it followed cops around on their calls. Of course, Police Story didn't have the attraction of being real! CBS was broadcasting "Simon and Simon", a popular detective series. NBC was running two of its most popular comedy series, "The Golden Girls" and "Empty Nest"!
In September of 1989, FOX moved the Cops TV show to one hour earlier at 8:00PM on Saturdays. That time slot had much less competition from "Mr. Belvedere" on ABC, the first half-hour of "Paradise" on CBS, and "227" on NBC.
Critics were generally impressed with the Cops TV show! Newsweek magazine said that it was, "unlike anything in prime time". USA Today said that the series showed, "real cops chasing real criminals down really mean streets".
The typical 22 minutes of Cops in a 30 minute episode required the shooting of 100 20-minute videotapes!
One aspect of Cops that is really hard to understand is why suspects signed waivers to allow their apprehensions to be shown on television! Approximately 50% of them have agreed while the others have had their faces blurred. A vast majority of bystanders and witnesses choose to allow their images to be broadcast. John Langley once said, "It perplexes me. Maybe it's fame or immortality, or to have a videotape to claim innocence, but most people want to be on".
The Cops TV show is one of television's longest running series and the only FOX series that has run longer is another crime reality series titled, "America's Most Wanted"!
The most common location for episodes of Cops is central and southern Florida. Part of the reason for that is because series' creator John Langley worked in Southern Florida on several crime-related projects. It's probably also likely that the temperate weather there made outdoor filming much easier during the winter months and also made it a really nice place for the crew to work! Cops has been filmed in more than 140 cities throughout the U.S., however, and has also shot episodes in London, throughout the former Soviet Union, in Central and South America, and in Hong Kong!
During the closing credits, audiences hear the radio conversion as follows: "132 and Bush, I've got him at gunpoint... Okay, gunpoint, 132 and Bush, covers code three." That was a Portland, Oregon police officer talking to the radio dispatcher while the cop was arresting a perpetrator in the 13200 block of Southeast Bush Street.
Very occasionally a Cops crew member gets directly involved in the action! A sound man who previously had worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) once helped a cop perform CPR! In 1998 a cameraman helped a seriously injured Atlanta, Georgia cop take a suspect into custody! The camerman knew what he was doing though because he was also a Reserve Police Officer for the Las Vegas Police Department! By the way, after getting the suspect under control, the cameraman picked his camera up and continued filming the action!
As one might suspect, some of the action has to be edited out of the final episode because of foul language, nudity, or other sexual situations that can't be shown on broadcast television. Die hard fans who want to see uncut material can purchase Cops Dvds that include everything caught by the cameras!
As of the time this page was written (2008), more than 800 episodes of Cops had been aired!
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