TV NotesFor 'Southland,' a home of its ownAxed by NBC, the gritty cop drama was picked up by TNT
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine
- Jan. 17, 2012
Two years ago it seemed highly unlikely that "Southland"
would make it to a second season, let alone beyond that.
In a highly unusual move, NBC canceled the show just days before its second season was slated to begin. A few weeks later, TNT
picked up the gritty cop drama.
The show, which will air its fourth-season premiere tonight at 10 p.m.
, has never been a huge ratings draw, but it's arguably TNT's most critically acclaimed show now that "Men of a Certain Age" is gone.
And that's helped "Southland" return year after year while shows like "Memphis Beat" and "HawthoRNe," which had stronger ratings, were canceled.
"Southland" averaged 2.9 million total viewers last season, according to Nielsen, up 8 percent from season two. That includes seven-day DVR playback, which adds a big kick to most of TNT's shows.
The audience is still less than half the 7.5 million viewers that "Southland" averaged in its one and only season on NBC. The network dropped the drama because it was too gritty, and NBC was worried about offending advertisers and viewers with frank storylines about violent crimes, drug abuse and other controversial topics.
Without any such worries, cable is a more comfortable venue for addressing such topics, and "Southland" has now matured to the point where the crew of Los Angeles cops on the show are undergoing their first shakeup.
Tonight Lucy Liu ("Ally McBeal") joins the cast as a new officer, just as partnerships among the returning policemen are changed.http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...of-its-own.asp