Fox Yanks Long-Running Show From Prime-Time Slots, Cuts Back on Episode Order

Apr 9, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Fox is pulling a long-running show from prime time for most of the remainder of 2012, and plans to cut its episodic commitment to the program, reports Joe Adalian in New York Magazine’s Vulture blog.

In place of the long-running real-life crime show “COPS,” Fox will air Fox Sports programming most Saturday nights through early December, the story says. The summer schedule will feature baseball; fall will include college football; and a mix of NASCAR and UFC matches will air the rest of the year, the story notes.

Fox insists it’s not canceling "COPS," which has aired on the network since 1989. Instead, the network says it’s merely cutting back on its order, although a network representative couldn’t say how many episodes will be produced in the future, the piece adds.

"What’s clear, however, is that Fox won’t be airing ‘COPS’ as anything close to a weekly series for most of the remainder of 2012: Only nine Saturdays this year won’t feature Fox Sports programming, and those nine weeks are split in batches of three weeks over three months in July, August and December," Adalian writes.

"Fox has been remaking its Saturday night lineup in slow-motion over the last few years. First, it cut back on ‘America’s Most Wanted,’ killing the show as a weekly series and instead ordering quarterly specials," he writes. "The ‘COPS’ cutback is the latest phase of the evolution, and it comes despite the fact that the show does solid ratings for Saturdays and costs next-to-nothing to produce."

But the viewers of "COPS" "aren’t particularly appealing to advertisers, so Fox doesn’t make much coin off of the show," the story adds.

4 Comments

  1. NOOOOOOOO! Cops is the only thing I look forward to on Saturday night TV. I have been missing it lately. Sounds like it’s as good as cancelled. C’mon, FOX. People watch it and it’s cheap to produce. We need an online petition. Who’s with me?

  2. Not me.
    This is the smart thing for FOX to do. The ratings have been horrible the last two seasons. This past Saturday, the two episodes averaged just 3.3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
    With sports, FOX will produce ratings that are at least double that, and in some cases, triple or even more.
    COPS will still air episodes, here and there, but just not every week. Plus, you have 23 seasons of reruns that air on a few cable outlets like G4 and TruTV.

  3. It annoys me when network execs can’t just say something is cancelled when it’s clearly cancelled.

  4. As with America’s Most Wanted, FOX is kind of in a corner where COPS is concerned as both series have been perceived more as public service programing than anything that can be sold to advertisers, at least on the network. On cable, that’s a different story. AMW has found a new home on cable and COPS runs in repeats on so many channels that it will probably be welcomed with open arms if first run episodes are shopped around.

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