• Weird History

Things We Just Learned About The TV Show 'Cops'

List RulesVote up all the 'Cops' facts that make you stop short.

Many of us can probably remember hearing "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" playing in the background at some point while Cops was on TV for more than 30 seasons. The reality show was the first of its kind and captured the attention of millions of viewers as it portrayed crimes across the US from a different point of view.

These facts from Cops offer insight into the making of the show and may answer questions people have regarding how it started, and why it stopped airing. The program offered glimpses into the lives of the law enforcement officers on it, the crews behind the cameras, and the people who were actually arrested on the air. Vote up the facts you find most gripping.

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    1

    A Crew Member Was Shot And Killed During Production By A Police Officer

    Bryce Dion, a 38-year-old audio technician who worked on the production of Cops, was the first crew member killed during filming. The incident occurred while the crew was recording a robbery in Omaha, NE. Dion had followed Omaha officers into a Wendy's restaurant where the robbery was taking place, and got caught in the crossfire.

    Regarding Dion's passing, Langley Productions, the production company behind Cops, said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping his family in any way we can.”

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    2

    The Rights To The ‘Bad Boys’ Theme Song Were Purchased For $2,500

    Two years after Jamaican reggae group Inner Circle released the song Bad Boys in 1987, Cops began to use it for the show's intro. The song began to blow up after making its TV debut, and the producers loved it so much that one of them decided to buy it. 

    John Langley, one of the Cops producers, bought the tune for a flat fee of $2,500. Over the 30+ years the show has been in production, it has earned more than $400 million on reruns alone. Inner Circle potentially left quite a bit of money on the table.

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    In a 2015 episode of Cops, Hubert Lee Solomon was stopped and frisked by Fort Myers Police Department officer Miguel Hernandez as Solomon was walking home from his girlfriend's house. Solomon was cited for violating a Florida law that makes failing to use an available sidewalk a noncriminal traffic infraction; he also happened to be carrying a handgun at the time.

    The 23-second encounter was taken to court, where Solomon was able to use the Cops footage to dispute the charges and contradict Hernandez's testimony regarding the stop. The footage convinced a federal district court that there wasn't enough gun evidence to indict Solomon.

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    The Show Began Because Of A Writer Strike

    On March 7, 1988, after rejecting the final offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representatives from the Writers Guild of America called a strike. According to a History.com article,

    [the strike began when] producers began demanding that writers accept a sliding scale on residuals - payment received when work is rebroadcast after its original airing - from domestic syndicated reruns of one-hour shows, claiming that syndication prices had dropped.

    The strike did not affect cable channels because they showed little original programming, and to fill time slots, networks began to play what was considered "reality TV." 

    FOX came out with Cops soon after the strike, which would end up becoming one of its most popular unscripted shows ever.

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