Cops is one of the longest-running and most successful shows in television history. There are all sorts of reasons that people like it, some like it because they like seeing the heroic police officers keeping the streets safe, some like it because of all the incredibly idiotic criminals that are often on the show and others just like seeing some really messed-up stuff on TV. The show has been around for 30 years now, which means that a lot of the police officers and criminals that are actually on the show today weren't even born when the show first aired.
But when you do a show that is all about a bunch of guys with weapons and handcuffs driving around with a camera crew looking to find criminals to arrest, there are obviously going to be a lot of things that production doesn't want anyone to know about. Let's face it, that whole thing is a recipe for disaster. When you think about it, one might be surprised that more messed up things don't go on when it comes to a show like this, but still, there are definitely a lot of things the producers of this show want to keep secret. Here are 15 Secrets the Producers of Cops Don't Want Us To Know.
15 The Cops Don't Make Money...
You might wonder if some of the police officers that appear on the show get paid anything for their efforts. Well, the answer is simple — they don't. Listen to what producer John Langley has to say: “We don’t pay people to be themselves,” he told Entertainment Weekly in 2011. “If you pay them, you’re affecting their behavior.” Well, that might be cool and all, but the thing is, there simply wouldn't be a show if all of these cops were not willing to be on it. Are they supposed to be filmed doing what they do for work simply because they are so thrilled to be on television? I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem like that exciting to me. I don't care about being on TV, I want to get paid.
14 ...But The Producers Get Rich Off Them
Obviously, someone is getting rich by filming the police officers do their job, and guess who it is? You guessed it — the producers. The show has made hundreds of millions of dollars from network, syndication, cable, and DVD sales over the years and much of that goes right in the producers' pockets. Think about it, what money do they really have to shell out? They have to pay a camera crew and a sound guy and then they have to do some editing, but as we already stated, they don't pay the police officers and they don't pay the criminals, so the rest of the money just goes right to them. That's a pretty good way to make a living if you can get away with it.
13 One Time They Did A Sting
Cops is supposed to be a show that just watches police officers do their jobs and doesn't interfere in any way, but sometimes, they don't stick with that process. A good case in point is when they helped the police set up a sting with a Florida woman named Dalia Dippolito who was trying to kill her husband by hiring a hit man. She ended up being sentenced to prison for soliciting his murder. While it was fun to watch, the whole point of the show is that the police officers are just filming the action and not actually a part of it. That all goes out the window when they get involved in a police sting.
12 Most Of The Footage Is Boring
This probably does not come as a huge surprise, but most of what the crew films is incredibly dull. Do you really want to watch a cop go through a McDonald's drive-thru and order a quarter pounder with cheese over and over again? Each show is only about 22 minutes long without commercials and
to get that 22 minutes, there are about 400 hours of footage
shot. Think about that, filming hours of footage for just a few minutes of footage that is entertaining enough to watch. Being a cop is an odd job, for every couple of minutes of wild action there is probably a couple of days of them just standing around, but the producers don't want you to know that.
11 One Crew Member Passed
The show puts the crew in some difficult situations, there is simply no doubt about that. We all know that, but did you know that one crew member of Cops actually passed away? Crew member Bryce Dion, who was 38 years old, was killed by gunfire as police were shooting at a suspect. On the one hand, it is good that in all of the years the show has been on that only one person has died, but isn't one person already one too many? And the real question is, why don't more people know about this? This guy was just a crew member doing his job and he passed away because he was put in danger.
10 The Crew Is Sometimes In Danger
The crew is often in danger, in fact, one could say that they are in danger the entire time. The thing is, the show is supposed to be a documentary, so the crew is really not supposed to get involved. How would it look if throughout the show, crew members kept jumping out of nowhere and tackling people? So basically,
they have to stand there while all sorts of dangerous things are going on around them and they can't do anything about it,
although crew members have done things in extremely rare cases. Witnessing a tragedy that perhaps could have been prevented if the crew members got involved and helped with would be a terrible situation to be in. On the other hand, someone has to be there to document the whole thing. I hope these guys get paid a lot.
9 Cities And Towns Let Them Film To Look Cool
You might wonder why these cities and towns allow Cops to use their location. After all, it seems like it might show their place of residence as an area where all sorts of bad things go down, but there is a really simple reason for it all. It all comes down to vanity. They want their police departments to be shown in a positive light. Right now, there is a lot of negativity toward police officers, and Cops always paints the police in a positive light and
can be used as a recruitment tool for police departments
to get quality applicants. Cops always make sure that it shows the police officers in a positive light.
8 The Criminals Sign Releases
This is the oddest one of all. You know all these dumb criminals you see arrested on the show? Have you ever wondered if they have to sign releases? Well yes, they do. Can you believe it? If I ever got caught doing a crime, I would never allow my face to be shown if I could help it, but the producers say that
95 per cent of the people busted on the show sign releases because they are so psyched to be on TV.
I wonder what that says about criminals? It seems like the same type of people that get busted for doing idiotic things are the same type of people that like to be on TV, even if they look like idiots. This definitely explains reality TV and daytime talk shows like Jerry Springer.
7 They Used To Show The Cops At Home
Way back in the beginning of the show, they would often show the police officers coming home. One early episode even showed one of the cops arguing with his wife. This obviously was not a good idea at all and they stopped doing it pretty quickly. This makes a lot of sense because in reality, who is watching this show to see what a cop is like at home? No one ever thought that cops were particularly interesting. What is interesting is what they actually do when they are on the job. It's a good thing they thought this through and got rid of this segment early on.
6 All The Episodes Are Basically The Same
If you watch the show with any regularity, you will figure something out pretty quickly. Almost every episode has the exact same theme. It starts out with some sort of chase, whether it be on foot or in a vehicle. Then the second segment is usually kind of funny or odd in some way that is meant to slow things down. The third and final segment usually involves some sort of moral lesson, often about substance abuse. This makes sense for them and they certainly know what they are doing, but at the same time, this is supposed to be a reality show, and
how real is it if every show is basically the same?
They set out to make every show pretty much the exact same as all the others.
5 They Ripped Off The Band That Wrote The Theme Song
One of the very coolest things about the show is the theme song. In fact, it is pretty much impossible to even think about Cops without thinking about the song. It is incredibly catchy and fits the theme of the show perfectly. It was written and performed by a reggae band from Jamaica called Inner Circle.
The producers of the show loved the song and bought the rights for only $2,500.
Seriously? One of the best and most famous television theme songs ever sold for such a small price. The guys from the band have had a fairly long career and much of it is because of that song, but still, they got ripped off. They should call the cops on the producers of the show!
4 It Started Because Of A Strike
The reason Cops was even thought of in the first place was because there was a writers strike back in the '80s, so networks were desperate for programming. The producers of the show had been pitching it for a while, but no one was interested. All of a sudden,
Fox jumped on the idea mostly because there was no need for writers.
All you needed was a guy with a camera and a sound guy and some cops to follow around and you were set. When you think about it, there isn't even any narration — it's just the theme song and then you go right into the show. If there was never a strike, then one of the most successful TV shows of all time would have never happened.
3 A Bust Was The Reason For The Show
In the early '80s, John Langley, who is the main producer of the show, was part of a film crew that was following around police officers who were doing a bust as part of a documentary on substance trafficking. He ended up thinking it would be a great idea for a show — to just follow police officers around all day and to see what happens. While it took him a long time, it obviously eventually became a huge hit. It's interesting, though, that if it were not for the bust, the show would have never happened. It also makes you wonder who the stars of the show really are. The cops are cool of course, but what really makes it tick are all the odd criminals.
2 The Show Is No Longer Unique
The show is not as unique as it used to be back in the day. Cops used to be a really original show, one that people had never seen anything like. It's bene filmed in 140 different cities in the United States, Hong Kong, London, and the Soviet Union. These days, there have been
lots of shows that are imitations of Cops and there is no lack of reality TV shows.
While back then, the show was thought of as totally revolutionary, now it's competing against dozens of trashy reality TV shows. With that said, they still have a huge following, so who knows how long the show will last? While another 30 years is unlikely, it certainly isn't out of the question.
1 It's Been Around Forever
This might not seem like a secret the producers don't want you to know, but it kind of is. There are many young people that watch the show, and they want to feel like what they are doing is new and different, not something that has been around forever, and done in exactly the same way. People like to think they are watching something new and different,
not a dinosaur that has been around since the beginning of time.
While to some viewers Cops is a show they are proud to have been watching forever, to others, it might be something that turns them off.