COPS TV Show Creator John Langley Dies In Mexico Road Race

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COPS TV Show Creator Dies In Mexico Road RacePA Images/20th Television

The creator of long running reality legal docuseries COPS has died during a road race in Mexico.

John Langley died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday, June 26, at the age of 78, during the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off-road race in Baja, Mexico.

John Langley Cops creator (PA Images)PA Images

Langley was an off-road racing enthusiast and frequently participated in races such as this one, as Variety reports.

COPS, which first aired on Fox in 1989, ran for 32 seasons with more than 1,000 episodes, becoming the longest-running television show on Fox in 2011. During its run, the show scooped up numerous awards, including four Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Informational Series.

However, the show – which followed officers as they carried out a variety of duties – was not without its controversies, and was often widely criticised for glorifying police work and giving one-sided perspectives.


COPS was cancelled by Paramount in June 2020 in the wake of widespread protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

John Langley Cops creator (PA Images)PA Images

During an interview with the Television Academy in 2009, Langley spoke of his own stance on the police, and it would appear that he had originally envisioned quite a different show.

Langley said:


I’m a kid of the 60’s. I’m sort of anti-authoritarian by nature. If you told me I was going to do a show about cops, I would have said, ‘What am I going to call it, Pigs?’

Born in Oklahoma City in 1943, Langley was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011 for his contributions to the television industry, and is credited with introducing the ‘cinéma vérité’ (truthful cinema) style of documentary programming.

Langley leaves behind his wife, Maggie, and five children; his son and producing partner, Morgan, who manages their company Langley Productions; another son, Zak; his two daughters, Sara Langley Dews and Jennifer Blair. He is also survived by seven grandchildren.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Topics: Film and TV, Cops, Mexico, Now


Variety and 1 other
  1. Variety

    John Langley, Creator of ‘Cops,’ Dies at 78

  2. Television Academy Foundation

    John Langley Producer

Julia Banim
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