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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 }

Lori Betts December 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I watched every episode on NBC and have been waiting to watch what happened after the cliffhanger!

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yaz December 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

loved southland and hope tnt keeps it going. i thought nbc was actually being smart airing it in the first place. you would think a network with such terrible ratings would want to try to be different…maybe 8 more law and order spin off is what they think would work. the jay leno experiment is a bust.

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TGR November 26, 2009 at 10:44 am

Yes, absolutely Southland is a great show. The problem being the almighty liberal NBC had a hard time implementing there pathetic liberal agenda into the series so they cancel the show.
As you know NBC is number 4 due to there bad programing.

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Jarrod November 14, 2009 at 12:22 am

For sure, I loved Southland when it was on NBC. They were stupid to cancel the show at the last minute. I believe the show has great potential with other older cop shows dying out. I hope TNT is smart enough to see this and pick this show up and see what it could do to their ratings.

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Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

pick it up TNT! great show that needs to be aired!

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tina November 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I love Southland and am so bummed it was cancelled! If TNT would pick it up I would definetly watch every week.

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Linda November 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Southland would be a great move for TNT it fits in perfectly with their shows, which I watch regularly, it has an excellent cast and really good story lines. Please TNT pick up this show!!:)

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Alex November 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I only got to see one episode but I thought it was great. I hope that some network picks up the show so I can continue to follow it.

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Eddie November 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I watched all the Southland episodes previously aired by NBC and was disappointed to learn that NBC had cancelled this series. I will watch it on TNT.

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Delma November 4, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I enjoyed watching Southland. I was entertained. I was shocked. I laughed. Thank you TNT!

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Brent November 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I would totally follow southland to TNT. I saw every episode of the first season and I loved it. Please pick it up TNT!

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Marni November 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I loved Southland and was looking forward to the new season! It ended with a cliffhanger!!!! I hope TNT picks up the show!

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Charlie November 1, 2009 at 10:31 pm

I have been anxiously awaiting Southland’s return. I would love to follow onto TNT. I’ve not been a fan of Dark Blue’s direction and would welcome the introduction of Southland to the TNT Family.

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debbie November 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Hope TNT picks up this great show-I was so disappointed to hear of its cancellation by NBC.

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robert casale October 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm

please renew dark blue and southland both GREAT SHOWS

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