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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Southland returns on TNT

     Southland was a gritty cop show set in Los Angeles that aired on NBC last spring for seven episodes.  Although it was initially renewed for a thirteen episode second season, the premiere date in the fall was pushed back, and then the show was abruptly canceled, without the final six filmed episodes ever seeing the light of day.  Part of the reason the show was pulled was because of its dark tone.  The direction of the series also changed for the second season, focusing more on Adams, Sherman, and their partners, giving less importance to the rest of the ensemble.  It was also to be more procedural, less serial, than before.

     Beginning tonight at ten p.m., TNT will air all thirteen filmed episodes.  Depending on how the ratings go, perhaps they may even order more.  Though an extension has not yet been announced, TNT owns the rights to do so.  The episodes will air in production order, starting with an extended version (by about six minutes) of the pilot.  As of March 2nd, the show will have exhausted the already aired episodes, and begin showing new ones, for those fans who have already seen the first seven.  TNT has also restored language that was cut due to broadcast content standards that cable is not constrained by.

     The series stars Regina King (24), Benjamin McKenzie (The O.C.), Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do), and Michael Cudlitz (Band of Brothers) as the aforementioned partners.  Also starring are Kevin Alejandro (Shark), Arija Bareikis, Shawn Hatosy, and Michael McGrady (Day Break).  The show is not really my cup of tea, but if you enjoyed it last spring, this is all very good news for you.  It definitely stood apart from other cop dramas currently on television.

     SPOILER ALERT!  Although I have not yet been sent the new episodes, I can reveal that Ben will have to face dealing with John's pain medication addiction, Chickie will be ostracized by the other cops, Lydia will have trouble balancing her personal life and her job, and Sammy will feel left out when he and Nate join a drug task force with Gil, an old friend of Nate's.  Sammy also will be trying to have a baby, and Mercedes will not be very accepting of Nate as her father, which will end up causing something really bad.  Sal's daughter will manipulate him, black mailing him after she finds out about his affair.  These are but a few of the details already released about upcoming episodes.

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