Authors, Film & TV

Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Jerry Doby


BET Boldly Disrupts the Narrative on Traditional Police Follow Docs With New Original Series: “Copwatch America”

TODAY BET NETWORKS announced that “COPWATCH AMERICA,” a riveting new docuseries taking a provocative and compelling look into the men and women on the front lines battling injustice at the hands of those sworn to protect, will premiere Wednesday, October 23 at 11:00 p.m. on BET. Click on the below link to watch the first episode of “COPWATCH AMERICA”:

Making its original debut on BET, “COPWATCH AMERICA” follows citizen-whistleblowers who have taken up a daily fight to protect their community’s lives and rights and keep law enforcement abuses of power in check.

“Far too often, contact between law enforcement and black civilians ends in violence against innocent members of our community. It is our hope that this first-of-its-kind-exposé sheds light on the issue, provides solutions and fosters a demand for accountability and justice,” said BET Networks president Scott Mills.

Across 10 action-packed episodes, viewers get in-depth, exclusive behind-the-scenes access to “copwatchers” who work diligently to combat police misconduct. Cross-cutting between New York and Atlanta, viewers will follow a diverse group of passionate and revolutionary activists who, armed with cameras, fight for justice for victims of police brutality. Their filming is not only exposing explicit cases that would otherwise go overlooked, but also shaking up the political climate and raising the collective consciousness of communities nation-wide.

In the premiere episode, audiences are introduced to ‘City’ and Shar, Atlanta-based copwatchers with The Movement Family, who lead radical social justice efforts through guerilla activism. To elevate public awareness on the status of negligent policing in their community, they defiantly set a banner on the freeway that says, “Welcome to Atlanta Home of Police Terrorism.” Meanwhile, action jumps off in New York City as copwatchersHawk and Nupol (Chairman and President respectively, Black Lives Matter-Greater NY) stage a protest that shuts down traffic on a major New York City highway. The demonstration was held in support of the movement to have Daniel Pantaleo (NYPD Officer accused of chokehold death of Eric Garner) fired. Both tactics are high-risk actions that could result in criminal charges and arrests, but these fearless crusaders for justice remain resolute in their cause, putting their lives on the line to impact change against what many consider a corrupt system of law enforcement.

COPWATCH AMERICA is produced by Renowned Films and Critical Content for BET Networks.  Executive produced by Tom Forman, Jenny Daly, Jon Beyer and Sonia Slutsky, who also serves as showrunner for Critical Content. Max Welch, Duane Jones and Tim Withers serve as executive producers for Renowned Films. Co-executive producers are P. Frank Williams and Lorna Anozie.

For more information on COPWATCH AMERICA go to and join the conversation across BET social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) by using the hashtag #COPWATCHAMERICA.



BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for black entertainment, music, culture and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.



Critical Content is a leading global independent content studio. Launched in October of 2015, the company focuses on unscripted and scripted programming for broadcast, cable and digital platforms.  Critical Content currently has more than 50 projects in production for more than 30 different networks. Recent series include “Catfish” (MTV), “Very Cavallari” (E!), “StayHere” (Netflix), “Get a Room with Carson & Thom” (Bravo), “Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour” (A&E), “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?” (FOX), “Caribbean Pirate Treasure” (Travel Channel), “The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey” (CBS, Netflix), “The Great Food Truck Race” (Food Network), “Disney’s Fairytale Weddings” (Freeform), “Racing Wives” (CMT), HOME FREE (FOX), “American Spring Live” (PBS), “Portals To Hell” (Travel), “Hanging With The Hendersons” (Animal Plant), “StartUp” (Crackle, Amazon), and “Limitless” (CBS).



Founded by Duane Jones, Max Welch and Tim Withers, Renowned Films is a London and LA based award-winning global content studio that is backed by leading US independent studio Critical Content. One of the fastest growing independent producers globally, the company has established itself as a leader in high-end factual and factual entertainment programming. Since 2015, Renowned Films has exponentially climbed the top 100 list of independent producers ranked by turnover; having climbed 50 places in 12 months reaching number 4 of 5 ranking in the fastest growing producers for 2018. Most recently in August of 2019, the company received the Indie of the Year Award at Edinburgh TV Festival.

In 2015, Channel 4 took an equity stake in the company as part of its £20 million Growth Fund. In 2017 Critical Content acquired an undisclosed stake in Renowned with Channel 4 exiting the business. The transaction signaled the formation of a strategic partnership between Critical Content and Renowned to augment Critical Content’s international expansion and foothold in the UK market, alongside boosting Renowned Film’s UK growth and allowing the business to capitalize on its rapid US success. The partnership saw CEO of Critical Content Tom Forman and EVP / CFO Christoph Pachler joining the board.

Renowned Films’ mission is to disrupt traditional media and create innovative, attention-grabbing, engaging and compelling factual entertainment, documentaries and formats, all with a fresh perspective, difficult deep access, supporting new talent, and with a thought-provoking tone of voice. We have big ideas and a broad set of specialisms, craft great stories, engaging characters and have great awareness of channel brands, audience trends and insights, making content that cuts through noise in order to be noticed.

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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