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Southland: Will TNT Save the Cancelled TV Series?

SouthlandThough NBC has axed Southland before its second season could premiere, the producers aren’t giving up on it. They just need to find the drama a new home.

If you weren’t watching last season, Southland revolves around a bunch of cops on the LAPD. Armed with their experience and firearms, they take on all manners of problems on the streets of Los Angeles. The series stars an ensemble of both new faces and TV veterans like Benjamin McKenzie, Kevin Alejandro, Arija Bareikis, Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Michael McGrady, Tom Everett Scott, Emily Bergl, Patrick Fischler, Lex Medlin, C. Thomas Howell, Emily Swallow, Carla Jeffery, Lori Alan, and Roxana Brusso.

Southland made a decent debut last season but viewership cooled as the season progressed. NBC renewed it for a second season even though the programmers knew they didn’t have an appropriate place for it on the schedule. After looking at some of the second season episodes, the network execs decided they were too dark for network TV and pulled the plug. Executive Producer John Wells pledged to shop the series to other outlets.

According to the LA Times, Southland was pitched to A&E but they passed on it. The cable channel runs its own dark dramas but is partially owned by NBC so there could be political reasons. It’s a similar situation for USA though Southland’s much darker than their usual programming like Psych and Monk.

Would you watch honestly Southland on TNT?

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A move to FX would have the opposite problem. While the cable channel runs its own gritty programming, FX shows go much further than Southland. AMC could be an alternative but they tend to run more artistic original programming like Mad Men. Pay channels like HBO and Showtime favor shows with offbeat premises and likely wouldn’t touch a network’s castoffs.

Most agree that TNT is Southland’s best chance at a second life. Warner Bros. TV produces the cop drama and TNT is owned by Turner. Both fall under the Time Warner corporate umbrella.

THR is reporting that TNT and Warner have held discussions and that they are “advancing.” In a statement, TNT said, “We continually look at all programming opportunities that fit our portfolio of brands.”

Though any channel is reluctant to take another’s leftovers, the acquisition could make sense for TNT. They regularly air original cop-based programming like Saving Grace (which was recently cancelled). The channel’s most recent offering, Dark Blue, hasn’t been a big success and its fate hangs in the balance. TNT could opt to replace Dark Blue with Southland which already has some viewer recognition and has attracted some decent press.

TNT could also likely get a good deal on the series. Six episodes have already been shot and paid for so Warners would likely offer the cable channel a discount on the 13 episode season.

If they took the deal, TNT would be a hero to Southland fans but it remains to be seen if that would translate into real numbers. Fans have worked to get shows renewed in the past but only a percentage have shown up to watch the fruits of their labor.

What do you think? Would you follow Southland to TNT?

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn October 29, 2009 at 3:28 am

I was really looking forward to this season’s Southland. Was so confused when it didn’t show the day it was promoted. There are so few shows with great writing and an interesting viewpoint, it would be a shame to let this one go. I hope TNT will give it a shot. So much talent wasted, otherwise.

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Ashley October 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I have been waiting since the season ended for this to return!! Please don’t get rid of it. It’s a really awesome show. I would deff follow it on TNT if you would just give it chance!

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june October 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

I like this show please returnit

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june October 28, 2009 at 10:36 am

return southland

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Don Winston October 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I would definitely follow this show wherever it goes, but I think it would be a good fit for AMC. Instead of looking at it as NBC’s cast-off, a network should look at getting this show as a golden opportunity to capitalize on the fact the show is apparently not a fit for whatever NBC is these days. Being not right for NBC is a blessing, not a curse.

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Derek D. October 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

TNT you’ve got to pick up Southland, the show blew me away last season and I can not express my disapointment when I found out that they cancelled it. I certainly believe it would be a very profitable decision to anybody who brought it back.

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lucy October 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I will follow the show to TNT. I love it that is so different that other cop shows.It is very realistic. It draws you in, the more you watch it the more involve you get into the caracters.

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Mrs. Leiws October 26, 2009 at 10:33 am

absofun’lutley !! TNT would get what NBC threw away : VIEWRS!

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Ross J. October 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm

OMG……I have been waiting to watch the next series of Southland only to learn it was cancelled. Please TNT, allow it on yur station. I found it so rivetting every time I watched it. I could hardly wait till the next weeks episode. It was so real….

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Maryellen October 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

My favorite TNT show is Dark BLUE. not sure about the
Southland thing. It was made for NBC with their direction,
not for TNT.

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CHRIS GLICKMAN October 25, 2009 at 10:25 am

YOU HAVE SO MANY OPEN STORY LINE TO GO AND YOU NEED TO FINISH THEM AND YOU HAVE SO MANY OTHER STORY LINE YOU COULD ADD THIS IS TRULY ONE OF THE BEST COP SHOWS NEXT TO MIAMI VICE AND NCIS MIAMI AND HILL STREET BLUES. WHO DECIDES THIS SOME LOOSER THAT SPEND HIS OR HER EVENING READING BORING BOOKS OR PLAYING WITH THEM SELVES

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CHRIS GLICKMAN October 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

YOU MUST PLEASE,PLEASE KEEP SOUTHLAND ON THE AIR IT HAS SOME OF THE GREATEST WRITING I HAVE SEEN IN ALONG TIME YOU HAVE THE RIGHT ACTORS FOR THE RIGHT ROLLS AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT OTHER SHOWS YOUR WAISTING MONEY KEEPING ON THE AIR THAT HAVE NO DEPTH TO THEM. KEEP THIS SHOW GOING, IT’S LIKE NCIS YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.

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Victor October 25, 2009 at 12:10 am

I’m so sick of these networks putting out shows that grabs one attention only to turn around with a cliff hanger and then next season hear that it was cancel. I really hope it picks up on another network and if NBC keeps doing this I’ll be the first to say I won’t support any shows they put out. GOD I HATE NBC for doing this!!!! Really pisses me off.

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Shelly October 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm

All I can say is that I am so disappointed. Southland rocks! Can’t believe GAY LENO beat it out. Who gives a shit about talk shows. We need that drama. I’ll watch Southland where ever it goes, even if it only goes to video. Bring it back. I hate NBC.

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JEN October 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm

WHY CAN’T TNT HAVE BOTH SHOWS MY FAMILY AND MY PARENTS WATCH BOTH DARK BLUE AND SOUTHLAND. I HATE WHEN THEY CANCELL THE SHOWS AND LEAVE US HANGING, EXAMPLE LAS VEGAS.

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