- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
John Langley, the creator of the long-running TV show Cops, has died.
Langley died Saturday of an apparent heart attack in Baja, Mexico while competing in the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off road race, a family rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 78.
Langley is best known for creating the then-Fox series Cops, which premiered on the network in 1989. The series, which ran for over 1,000 episodes, is recognized as one of the longest reality series in television. Langley executive produced the show with his son, Morgan Langley.
After being cancelled by Fox in 2013 after a 25-season run, Paramount Network’s forerunner, Spike TV, picked up the series. The series continued following the 2018 rebranding of Spike as Paramount Network, which also had syndication rights to previous seasons of the show.
Paramount Network postponed the premiere of Cops‘ 33rd season following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which set off nationwide protests for racial and social justice. The show was ultimately canceled last June. WGN America, which had off-network rights to the show, let its contract expire June 30.
Though a long-running series, Cops had faced scrutiny over the years for the way it depicted suspects and police tactics. The podcast Running From Cops revealed officers would coerce subjects at times into signing releases to be filmed for the show, and that crewmembers have carried weapons and assisted police.
Apart from Cops, Langley also produced American Vice: The Doping of a Nation, which showed live drug arrests on television. Other credits include Inside American Jail and Las Vegas Jailhouse; documentaries Cocaine Blues, American Expose: Who Murdered JFK?, Anatomy of a Crime and Terrorism: Target U.S.A.; and series Video Justice, Undercover Stings, Jail, Street Patrol, Vegas Strip and Road Warriors.
Langley Productions also produced the film Brooklyn’s Finest starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke.
In addition to entertainment, Langley created his own off-road race team known as the COPS racing team.
Langley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2011.
Langley is survived by his son Morgan, who oversees Langley Productions, his wife Maggie, son Zak, daughters Sarah Langley Dews and Jennifer Blair and seven grandchildren.
June 27, 12:46 Updated with confirmation.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day