By Kimberly Potts
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do now that Fox is planning fewer episodes of “Cops“? The show will be MIA on the network’s Saturday primetime schedule for much of the rest of the year, as Fox plans almost 100 hours of live Major League Baseball, college football, NASCAR and UFC programming through December.
The plethora of sports programming comes on the heels of a report that Fox is planning to launch a new national sports network.
The 24th season finale of “Cops” aired on Fox on April 7, and a network rep confirms to TheWrap that the episode order for the show’s 25th season will be shortened by a “handful” of episodes.
Most Fox Saturday nights for the rest of the year — for 28 of 32 Saturdays from April 14 through December 8 — are programmed with sports events. But the network says there are open Saturdays in July, August and December that could include “Cops.”
“Our exact scheduling plans are not locked in stone as of yet,” the representative said.
“COPS”: Arrests with a Twist:
The network will kick off an eight-week stretch of Major League Baseball games — known as “Baseball Night in America” — on May 19.
The network’s racing coverage includes NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on April 14, followed by NASCAR races April 28 and May 12. Live UFC events are scheduled for May 5, August 4 and December 8, while college football will air in primetime Saturdays throughout September and most of October.
Fox will air World Series game four on October 27, and the Big Ten football championship on December 1.
“We see Saturday nights as the perfect home for quality sports programming, especially in spring and fall,” Fox Sports COO and Co-President Eric Shanks said in a release. “We’ve been working hand-in-hand with our entertainment division and partners, and we’ve put together a solid schedule that gives us a consistent Saturday night franchise for the first time ever.”
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