COPS, Fox’s granddaddy reality show, will be renewed for its 143rd season. It has been on the air since 1873, when it dispatched its riveting you-are-there crime stories via morse lamp and telegraph. (The latter made for some amusing shows: “HALT! STOP I’M TELLING YOU TO STOP! STOP STOP OR I SHALL ELECTROCUTE YOUR LOINS! STOP”)


Actually, it’s the 23rd season. Why cancel it? It’s cheap. Turn on the camera, ride around, and let the nation’s bountiful supply of miscreants, idiots, drunks, and crooks perform for free. The show has been on long enough to arrest the children of people who were arrested the first few seasons, and send them up as adults.


The lessons one can learn from the show are innumerable. When caught with crack cocaine in your car, say it’s not your car, it’s your cousin’s. When caught with a crack cocaine in your pocket, say they’re not your pants, you got them from this dude. What’s his name? Shorty. So Shorty gave you some pants? Yeah. What was Shorty wearing then? I don’t know, man, he just walked up and gave me pants with drugs in them. And you took them. Well yeah, because I didn't have any pants. Naturally I took them.

The excuses are usually more fun than the chase. And instructive! Remember, deny everything, because the cops usually let guys go if they say the drugs weren’t theirs.


If we’re lucky, they’ll be back in Minneapolis this year - although we usually have the dullest, most pedestrian episodes, like "man jaywalks with unlicensed dog."  Which is fine by me.

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