Fox television is considering a comedic reality cop show whose pilot episode starred the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The premise of the show, tentatively titled “Smile! You’re Under Arrest,” is to lure fugitives to an unexpected arrest with bogus promises of prizes and riches, according to Scott Grogin, vice president of corporate communications for Fox.
“At this point it’s only a pilot,” Grogin said, meaning Fox has agreed to review the episode that was shot with the sheriff’s office to decide whether to pick it up as a series.
Fox airs the popular “Cops,” which has run on Saturday evenings for years.
Contacted last week and Tuesday, Arpaio and spokeswoman Lisa Allen MacPherson declined to comment on whether a Gilbert spa was used for filming a reality show involving the sheriff’s office Aug. 26.
MacPherson would only say that there are confidentiality agreements in place.
Dori Mead, owner of Xs Salon and Spa, 2730 S. Val Vista Drive, confirmed the spa was rented out Aug. 26 and there were undercover detectives present, but she declined further comment.
Grogin had no details on where and when the episode was shot.
Variety Entertainment, an entertainment industry trade publication, reported Tuesday that one of the proposed ruses for the show would be to offer jobs as extras on a movie set to suspected criminals who are wanted on warrants.
Police have used such stings to catch wanted criminals before.
In 2002, Chandler police used “Operation Prize Patrol” to lure fugitives to the Chandler Center for the Arts on a Sunday under the ruse they won a prize.
Chandler police arrested 24 people. They didn’t get paid, however, like the fugitives on the Fox show.
Variety reported that everyone who was arrested for the pilot got to keep the prize they were offered.