Tuesday, January 12, 2010
From NBC to TNT: Southland
When NBC suddenly canceled the police drama "Southland" last year, before it had even aired the first episode of its second season, I was a bit disappointed. The series, though flawed, showed some promise. It told the story of a cadre of police officers working in, you guessed it, Los Angeles. The best part: It wasn't a lousy procedural with lame cases of the week; it was a serial drama which focused on character development. (Imagine that.). The cast included Benjamin McKenzie (who you know as Ryan Atwood from "The O.C."), the underrated character actor Michael Cudlitz, Regina King, and Tom Everett Scott (who has appeared once or twice on "Sons of Anarchy."). It wasn't a bad show, and NBC renewed it for a second season, postponed its second season premiere, and then abruptly canceled it before a single episode of that second season had a chance to air. There was no meaningful explanation for NBC's shenanigans.
Well, NBC's loss may be TNT's gain. Starting tonight, the cable network will begin airing episodes of "Southland," starting with the pilot. It will air the seven episodes from its abbreviated first season (all of which NBC showed in early 2009) and then the six unaired episodes from what would have been its second season on NBC. It's possible that if TNT does well with the show that it will put new episodes into production. So give it a shot tonight. It's certainly better than watching the latest incarnation of American Idol, also returning tonight.