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'Cops' creator John Langley dies amid off-road race in Mexico

John Langley
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 09:47:36-04

LOS ANGELES — John Langley, who was the creator of the long-running TV series “Cops,” has died during an off-road race in Mexico.

Family spokeswoman Pam Golum says Langley died of an apparent heart attack Saturday during the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250. He was 78.

Langley was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Los Angeles.

In addition to creating "Cops," Langley was also a producer on the 2009 film "Brooklyn's Finest."

According to the Associated Press, he was an off-road racing enthusiast and frequently drove in events like the one he took part in Saturday.

“Cops” was among the first reality series on the air when it debuted in 1989. It helped revolutionize television and expand the possibilities of what programs could drive ratings on the small screen.

It would become an institution through 32 seasons on the Fox Network and later Spike TV, famous for its street-level police perspective and its theme song, “Bad Boys.”

However, the show has faced criticism in recent years amid widespread protests against police brutality. Paramount canceled the show last June following the death of George Floyd.

“'Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said in a statement to Variety in June.

However, late last year, Cops production crews began filming with local police departments in the hopes of distributing the show for an international audience.