John Langley dies of apparent heart attack at 78: Reps


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John langley, the creator of an influential reality TV show The cops, died of an apparent heart attack while competing in an off-road race in Baja California, Mexico, which borders the U.S. state of California, according to representatives of a Variety report.

Langley died in the middle of the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off-road race on Saturday, family spokesperson Pam Golum said, according to the Associated Press. He would often have driven in such competitions.

The cops was known to follow police on patrols, highlighting dramatic portions of arrests. It started in 1989 and lasted until 2020, serving as a sort of prototype reality show years before the genre gained popularity. It was canceled after the death of a Minnesota man George floyd, died in arrest on May 25, 2020. The death of Floyd, which has since been ruled as unintentional second degree murder at the hands of a licensed Minneapolis police officer Derek chauvin, has sparked an ongoing national debate about law enforcement treating people of color, especially black men like Floyd.

Langley described his creation of the show in fairly ironic terms.

“I’m a child of the ’60s,” he told the Television Academy Foundation in an interview in 2009. “I’m kind of anti-authoritarian by nature. If you had told me I was going to do a cop show, I would have said, “What am I going to call him, Pigs?”

He described his show as an “existential variety show with a focus on the criminal justice system.”

“It’s the only show I know of on television that doesn’t have music on the show itself,” he said at the time. “No narrator, no host, no re-enactments, no script. Show me another show like this. There aren’t many if there are. You literally go on a ride. You see a world you probably won’t see, and while I think I’ve seen it all on Cops, I’m still amazed.

[Image via National Association of Television Program Executives]

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