After 25 seasons on Fox, the heritage documentary/reality show will be moving to Spike TV this fall. Spike TV has ordered 22 new episodes of “Cops,” which will premiere its 26th season in September. The cable network will even air “Cops” in its familiar slot, Saturdays at 8/7c. Production has already begun in locations such as Sacramento, Sarasota and Texas, reports Fox News.
Spike TV president Kevin Kay says he approached Langley a few years ago about acquiring “Cops,” but the producer wanted to make it through 25 seasons on Fox before entertaining a move. Kay and Langley spoke again this spring, and a deal was quickly reached. “It’s the perfect show for Spike,” Kay says. “We want the fans to just shift over hopefully effortlessly.”
Spike TV has also struck a deal to license some older “Cops” repeats that will be paired with the new ones. Kay says he’ll initially air back-to-back originals of “Cops” to form a full hour. But eventually, Spike will pair repeats with originals, just like Fox did for years.
With “Cops” in place, Kay hopes to establish a new night of programming on Saturdays, where the channel currently airs movies. “In the short term, we’ll air repeats of our original series behind ‘Cops,'” he says. “But we’ll eventually use ‘Cops’ to build new original series.”
It’s the end of an era for Fox, which was still in its infancy when “Cops” debuted in 1989. The network aired “Cops” together with “America’s Most Wanted” on Saturday nights for 14 years; “AMW” moved from Fox to Lifetime in 2011 and has now been canceled. Spike TV also previously revived another Fox reality castoff, “World’s Wildest Police Videos.”