John Langley, a Creator of the TV Series ‘Cops,’ Dies at 78

by Msnbctv news staff


Barry Diller watched it and said: ‘God, that’s powerful, too powerful,’” Mr. Langley said in the Academy interview, referring to a meeting with the Fox chairman at the time. Another executive worried that Fox’s stations would not accept such a raw program. (Mr. Langley had left in a lot of blood and guts, he said, knowing he could cut it.) But Rupert Murdoch, whose company controls Fox, said, “Order four episodes.”

“Cops” spawned several other unscripted crime series by Mr. Langley, including “Las Vegas Jailhouse,” “Jail,” “Street Patrol,” “Undercover Stings” and “Vegas Strip,” which he produced with his son Morgan, the executive vice president of development at Langley Productions.

Mr. Langley was a producer of feature films as well, including Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest” and Tim Blake Nelson’s “Leaves of Grass,” both released in 2009.

In addition to his son, Mr. Langley is survived by his wife, Maggie (Foster) Langley; their daughter, Sarah Langley Dews; another son, Zak, who is the senior vice president of music at Langley Productions; a daughter, Jennifer Blair, from a previous marriage to Judith Knudson, which ended in divorce, and seven grandchildren.

Mr. Langley understood the power of a police department’s cooperation when, while shooting “American Vice,” he asked the Broward police if he could shoot a drug raid live.

“I said, ‘If you’re going to do this bust anyway, can you do it on this date, and maybe do it in this two-hour window?’” he told the Television Academy. “They said, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and that’s how we did it.”



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