Cops is in Its 30th Season: Not Many Shows Can Say That

There have been a number of television series that have had some rather impressive runs, such as Friends, Law and Order, and others, but there are rarely shows that can boast of having 20 years on air, much less an astonishing 30-season-run, but the Fox/Spike ran television Cops series logged its 30th season this past May when it became the longest running show in the history of Fox, and one of the longest running shows in the history of American television.

“Cops”is not simply a television series, it is literally a pop-culture in and of itself. It is one of the first shows in which Americans were invited into the world of law enforcement officers as they served warrants, carried out traffic stops and literally placed their life on the line.

What made the show so popular is that everyone has some type of relationship and engagement experience with police officers on some level — from the hardened criminal to the little old lady who is helped across the streets. The specific relationship that a person has with law enforcement is defined by the experiences they have had with police officers. With that being said, the show had split audiences that watched for very different reasons.

There was the general public, who during the earlier seasons had very high opinions of law enforcement and this group tuned in to watch what they considered to be their heroes. Then there were the aristocrats of American society that, for the most part, had been inoculated from police interference at a social level. Basically, if they had not committed some type of major crime, they had very little interaction with the police, so watching the show was solely for the purpose of novice examination.

Finally, there were the people who live in communities that are policed by law enforcement officers. Those who see the entire judicial system in a different light. You would think that these dissenters would have nothing to do with a show that featured and praised cops, but you would be absolutely wrong. They actually made up the largest demographic of the show. Some watched because the reflected and revealed so much of what they recognized in their life, and others tuned in to find some reason to believe something different than what they believed, and finally, yes, others tuned in to cheer for the bad guys, although the bad guys almost always got caught and arrested.

The truth is that regardless of how Americans feel about cops, the vast majority of them understand that the job that these men and women have to do is dangerous and unforgiving, and at the very least they respect that. It is not certain how many more years the show has in it, but the reality is that it will never become irrelevant, and it is not likely that Americans will grow tired of watchingthe show. The unpredictability is another alluring element of the show. You literally never know what is going to happen, and everyone loves shows that make their hearts race.

Congratulations to the creators and producers of the show, and hopefully there will be many more impressive years ahead.

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