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Southland: A Decent Premiere; Keep It or Cancel It?

SouthlandLast week, NBC and 16 million viewers said goodbye to the venerable medical drama, ER. This week, the network debuted a new show co-produced by ER’s John Wells. So, how did Southland stack up?

Southland is police drama that’s billed as a raw and authentic look at Los Angeles as seen through the eyes of the men and women of the LAPD. In the pilot, we meet John Cooper (Standoff’s Michael Cudlitz), a seasoned and no-nonsense cop who’s assigned to guide a young rookie named Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie from The O.C.). Others in the cast include Regina King (Leap of Faith), Tom Everett Scott (Grace Under Fire), Michael McGrady (Day Break), Kevin Alejandro (Shark), Shawn Hatosy (Felicity), and Arija Bareikis (Crossing Jordan).

NBC certainly needs a hit and hasn’t had much luck lately with the likes of Kings and The Chopping Block. It appears however that the peacock network may have some success with Southland. There are plenty of crime dramas on television right now but not many take the “gritty” approach. Critical reception for the show has been positive overall and viewers seem to agree.

Is Southland worth watching?

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Last night’s premiere attracted 9.72 million viewers with a 3.2/9 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. Southland was in second place for total viewers in the timeslot (behind CBS’ Harper’s Island) and drew almost three million more than its lead-in, 30 Rock. More importantly, the cop drama was first in the all-important demo.

While the number of viewers of many new dramas have been declining in their second half hour, Southland actually grew by over half a million. That’s a good indication that viewers will return next week and may even bring a friend or two.

Southland also looks pretty good when compared with former timeslot occupant ER. It outperformed most of the medical drama’s final season in total viewers and essentially matched it in the demographic.

Though NBC was surely hoping for better, these ratings are certainly a positive sign. The struggling peacock network could certainly use it. So, what do you think? Is it a keeper or headed for cancellation? If you tuned in, will you return next week?

 

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

leatha February 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

i love this show, i love Regina King, she grew into an awesome addresses from the days of Room 227. keep it the show. a breath of fresh Air.

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south November 2, 2009 at 6:02 am
Wanda October 13, 2009 at 9:15 am

I am so disappointed to find that Southland has been cancelled — so we can have Jay Leno for another night? I had looked forward to the second season.

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Michelle Shew October 12, 2009 at 7:28 am

I can’t believe they are cancelling this awesomoe show. The actors were great, the themes were great…all for Jay Leno….YUCK!!! I didn’t like him when he was on the Tonight Show, let alone watch him in his own show. Southland was and still is a great show. I just hope another network picks it up and lets NBC see what a mistake they made in not renewing this show.

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ernestina October 11, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Michael Cudlitz John Cooper is not attractive to the audience gay.I believe the role of gay police would have been better for someone younger like Ben McKenzie Ben Sherman.SAVE THIS SHOW!!!

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Mike Franz October 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Bring back SOUTHLAND!!!!!

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heather September 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm

oh and one more thing. i really need to find out what happened to the white cop/detective dude who got shot in the doorway of a neighbor’s house during an outdoor bbq/party. i can’t remember the character’s name off the top of my head. and the black chic cop/detective is one bad ass! she’s my favorite female character. and of course ben (ben mckenzie) is hot and his partner has awesome one-liners. one of the best “this is a front row seat to the greatest show on earth!”

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heather September 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm

this show blows me away!!! i heard myself yelling out and smiling as i watched saying “OH MY GOD, I FREAKIN LOVE THIS FREAKIN SHOW!!” if nbc is stupid enough to let this gem of a show go, then the network DESERVES to be in fourth place!!! i mean come on! the directing rocks, the actors portray real life reactions to real life situations. and very well, too. the way that it DOES have the occasional (but not too much at all) bleeped out word, makes it feel that much more real… WITHOUT BEING ANOTHER REALITY SHOW!! thank god nbc found some REAL talent and hopefully will be smart enough to let it live and grow on as it WILL grow on more and more viewers. i also hope they give a good timeslot that it deserves! LONG LIVE SOUTHLAND!!

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Dee August 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I loved the first season of Southland, look forward to the second season and finding out more about Ben.

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ANGIE June 21, 2009 at 11:44 pm

SouthLAnd
to me it means a lot to see this show i am from Los Angeles,CA . I am currently in Virginia . To me is a way to see LA all over again i feel like i am there. My family had a lot of running with the cops and the episodes are really like LA. ACTUALLLY THE episodes are still very sugar coated but all in all it is very good. I hope this show has several seasons.

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Michelle May 30, 2009 at 8:01 am

I have to agree with the comments about the bleeping of the language. It’s okay every once in a while but not every sentence. Also I do agree there really needs to be more action, especially when it’s the detectives there was one episode it was only based on them it was really boring. You need to have action with them too not just the cops!! Overall I really like the show, however, it’s raw and will take some time to get used to this new take on tv. At least it’s not another reality show enough already!!!!!!

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rosco May 24, 2009 at 6:39 am

the show is tough, i like the whole vibe of it, i believe when something just start outs it is hard to convey your whole idea, but given some time and good feedback i think this show has potential to grow legs. this derailed episode was crazy. im black, but im tired of hearing this race sh** all the time, the fact is, crime is crime and it commited by every race…the change will happen, the shows good!!!

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Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 10:23 am

I absolutely love this show but it should be a little action packed than what it is because I see alot of potential. I sure wish third watch still came on now that was a show

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