Bad Boys

Submitted by ub on Mon, 01/22/2018 - 18:07

Back in the old days of broadcast, before cable or digital platforms like Netflix, and even before there were Bad Hombres, there were Bad Boys. And long before the TV program "COPS" was an American TV favorite program over the airwaves, I believe that it was me who conceived the original revolutionary broadcast idea.

in the late seventies as a young cub South Florida reporter, I spent time with South Florida cops and suggested the concept to the Organized Crime Bureau Director, who was a Cuban born crime fighter and later went on to serve as Broward County Sheriff. Nicolas G. "Nick" Navarro was a Cuban-American who went on to become a successful realtor and businessman after 1985. I left South Florida and went on to serve at NBC News.

Nick pitched the idea to a small company and the rest is history. Best known as the production house behind the long-running reality program COPS, Langley Productions is now one of the US premiere independent non-fiction producers. In 1988, after multiple rejections, they found a home for "COPS" on the newly launched Fox Broadcasting network. The long-running “reality” program was truly groundbreaking at the time and pioneered the often-emulated Cinema Vérité technique. However, I was not satisfied with the direction this program took.

“Cops” became the most polarizing reality TV show in America. You’ve seen it, or at least clips of it, and you probably would recognize the theme music if you heard it.

Truth is, the show that highlights a relentless stream of street-level crime and police work means different things to different people and always has. It fuels racist attitudes about policing, say, critics. It’s just a reflection of the reality of law-and-order, say its supporters.

FIRST "COPS" TV Show Pilot, which highlights Nick's crime-fighting techniques.

In partnership with Longreads Tim Stelloh talks with the show’s creator about what he was trying to accomplish nearly three decades ago. Bad Boys… @MarshallProj

Sheriff Nick Navarro: A Badge Of Honor

Former Broward Sheriff Nick Navarro Dead