‘Southland’ Canceled Before Any Episodes Air

Published 4 years ago by

southland Southland Canceled Before Any Episodes Air

Yesterday, Southland executive producers Ann Biderman and Christopher Chulack walked on the set of the critically acclaimed police drama while they were filming their sixth episode of the season and announced to the cast and crew that it has been canceled and would not return for its sophomore season even though not a single episode of the five completed had aired. They will continue filming and complete the sixth episode of its second season this week.

It’s been reported that the decision to cancel the show after execs over at NBC screened the first four episodes of this season and deemed them too dark an inappropriate for a 9PM time slot. This season was going to focus more on Adams (Regina King), Sherman (Benjamin McKenzie) and their partners Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) and Brown (Arija Bareikis) rather than the ensemble cast of the first season.

No word yet on when/if the six completed episode will air. Although there is still hope as executive producer John Wells (The West Wing & ER) is currently shopping the show around to broadcast and cable networks in hopes that they pick up the now network-less show. Southland might be a good fit for a network like FX who has a police drama spot open now with The Shield no longer on the air.

This news comes a week after Wells (also president of the Writers Guild of America, West) slammed NBC’s decision to move Jay Leno to the 10PM primetime slot by saying, “We lost five hours’ worth of time periods that have been known throughout the history of the network for putting some really terrific shows on. I wish NBC and Jay Leno well; personally, he’s a very nice guy, but I hope he falls flat on his face and we get five dramas back.”

It makes you wonder if he knew this was coming down the pipeline.

Someone else who’s not happy with yesterday events was actor Michael Cudlitz, who played Officer John Cooper. Today he gave an extremely interesting and brutally honest interview with Michael Ausiello of The Ausiello Files.

southland michael2 Southland Canceled Before Any Episodes Air

Here are some excerpts.

What was your reaction? Did you see it coming?

CUDLITZ: In retrospect, I saw it coming. We were two weeks away from airing and [the cancellation news] has created more press for the show than NBC has put into it on its own. They ran the first [Southland] ad – a 30-second spot – last Friday, and that’s the only one that they ran. That’s not a relaunch. When you have a network that nobody’s watching, it doesn’t benefit you to only advertise on your network.

What explanation were you given?

CUDLITZ: We were given the same statement that everyone got. [NBC] said they watched the first [four] episodes and determined that they were too dark. I don’t even know where to go with that. They were the scripts that [NBC] approved for a show that they picked up – a show they themselves advertised as an authentic, raw, and gritty look at the Los Angeles Police Department. So I don’t know what they thought they were getting… There’s something else going on I’m sure. We had a cast and crew screening on Tuesday for the season 2 premiere, and it was phenomenal. It was better than any of the episodes we have aired to date. It was fantastic.

Do you have a theory as to what else might be going on?

CUDLITZ: I really don’t. What audience are they afraid of pissing off? They don’t have an audience… There’s some speculation that they’re trying to cut costs because they’re trying to sell the network, but I don’t know. The thing that strikes me as very bizarre is that they have [six episodes] in the can, they don’t have anything on right now that is doing well, and our show is good. Why would you not put it on? So something else must be going on.

Anything fans can do?

CUDLITZ: They can express their annoyance. Networks are in this to make money, and it’s obviously proven by this decision. Because if they cared about the quality and the art then they would keep the show on the air just because of that. This was not a show that was costing them a ton of money. This is a show that would more than likely have made them money, even if not a lot. And it was critically-acclaimed, and they still chose to cancel it because of the bottom line. They’re obviously in it for the money. So if you let them know you’re not happy with what they did, that can’t do anything but help.

southland cast Southland Canceled Before Any Episodes Air

Whether you’re a fan of Southland or not, this brings about an interesting debate concerning whether or not programming like Southland has a place on NBC considering the network no longer has anything after 9PM now that the network decided to move Jay Leno into the timeslot that bore great programming like The West Wing and ER. How many West Wing or ER quality programs are we going to miss out on?

What do you think?

Source: The Ausiello Files

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  1. It’s unfortunate. South Land is a very well put together show. I’d have to agree with the above statements that there’s more to this than “the show being too dark.”

  2. For more information on Southland and who you can write to, go here:

    http://community.livejournal.com/southland_tv/

  3. I have to say that I just a little bit surprised to hear the news of the cancellation,but only just a little.

    NBC seems to be purposely sabotaging their network for some unknown reasons.They suck in the ratings and it doesn’t look like things are going to get better anytime soon.

    The only thing that I watch on that network is 30 Rock,and I don’t think they will ever cancel it.To cancel Southland means to me that they are all but throwing in the towel.

    I’ve never watched Southland,but a lot of the time,when a show gets the tag of “critically acclaimed” it usually ends up being a kiss of death.

    NBC’s main problem,imo,is that they have completely lost the ability to create and cultivate new dramas,and they don’t know how to promote them for squat.

  4. NBC already pulled Southland form its community forums. Guess There won’t be any protests going on there. This is now the second show they’ve canceled that was really Good. Kings being the other. They would rather make a new Law and Order than something new and interesting. I hope FX picks up Southand. They’re one of the best networks going right now.

  5. This is a terrible move. Leno is rarely on the top ten weeknights ratings and is sure to fizzle out fast. NBC’s decision to cancel Southland now is extremely ‘hinky’. It’s short sighted. They are going to need shows like this to fill the inevitable 10PM slots. I hope it gets picked up elsewhere cause it was fantastic!

  6. Southland is amazing. It is unbelievably stupid on NBC’s part to cancel it. Any network will be lucky to pick up this truly great show.

  7. Southland was my favorite show. There’s nothing to watch on NBC anymore.

  8. To use the phrase of someone else’s post on another page, Southland was appointment television for me and it was the only NBC program in that category. NBC, when it had scripted dramas and not beancounters making its artistic decisions, had a bevy of appointment programming including Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life on the Streets and ER. I grew up on that programming and I have not grown out of it. NBC shouldn’t rely on its current ratings winners. I have never felt that way about 30 Rock or The Office. And removing Southland from the community forum at the NBC website didn’t stop the anger from boiling over on the social networking sites, did it? NBC should be embarrassed.

  9. I love Southland and Michael Cudlitz for saying all that stuff in his interviews about NBC, someone needs to say something to them, who the hell do they think they are, their shows suck right now and Southland would of made NBC so much better. Some network needs to pick Southland up its an amazing show and any network would be lucky to have it.

  10. I cannot believe NBC’s canceling Southland (although maybe I should given its drastic decline in the past few years). Southland is the first NBC show in ages I’ve both enjoyed and respected. It’s dark and gritty, yes, but most people I know happen to like that and more importantly, Southland did it WELL. It’s a unique, well-written, realistic show that deserves to be shown somewhere; I will definitely follow whatever network shows it. Now, the only thing I watch on NBC is Law & Order, thanks Jay Leno.

  11. Please add me to the list of people shocked at NBC’s move.
    Too often excellence is thrown out. I don’t understand how the powers that be justify their fiscal decisions. They put together an edgy program of high standards, then waste money as well as talent, pulling shows that make people think.

  12. After reading about NBC’s idiotic decision to cancel Southland, which was a quality show, I came to this conclusion … Is it little wonder that network TV is flopping badly, while cable nets — who aren’t afraid to experiment — are flourishing?

  13. dreadful “sensitive” looking cast…. plus I read it has a gay-cop subplot? phfftt, that means preachy and sensitive — is there anything worse? — drive a stake thru its heart

  14. theresa: “…shows that make people think” — that’s a joke right?

  15. i was a big fan of the show “LIFE” and i believe it was canceled due to this STOOOPID jay leno phenomena. if they want to save money – make every show a reality program on NoBody’s Channel (NBC). any way – i knew that in some way leno moving to the 10 pm slot would screw somebody’s favorite shows up. maybe NoBody’s Channel can put the president on their channel to boost ratings? wait, they already DO that. (sings) G.E. WE BRING GOOD THINGS TO LIFE!

  16. I don’t understand how NBC can have terrible shows like Parks & Recreation and Community (and who thought Carson Daly should have a show?), and get rid of something good like Southland.

    They may have thought it was too dark for the time slot- but they get rid of something good instead of rearranging the schedule of bad shows? What kind of thinking is that?

  17. Southland was the best show on network tv. How you could replace it with Jay Leno is beyond me. PLEASE, pick this show up FX. PLEASE!!

  18. All sensitive programming should be cancelled, it’s making people more violent.

  19. I’ll take Southland any day over Leno. It’s a beautifully-imagined, smart drama that took their veiwership inside people’s lives without playing to any stereotypes I could see. I really loved and appreciated this show and I feel that NBC would rather ignore intelligence in favor of quick cash. A payout over the long run just isn’t worth it to them, it seems.

  20. For those interested, check out Michael Cudlitz’s Twitter. He’s been “tweeting” like crazy since the cancellation. There are also some cool behind-the-scene Southland photos via his Twitpic account.

    http://twitter.com/Cudlitz
    http://twitpic.com/ksm4t

  21. @eric in manhattan: It’s clear from your comment that you haven’t seen a single episode. Southland went against stereotypes which you’re evidently used to seeing on TV; this show was actually SMART. That’s why so many people are angry at its cancellation. It was challenging, intense, intelligent, and consistently well acted drama, a true rarity in broadcast.

    With any luck, another network will pick it up and hopefully treat it better than NBC did.

  22. The fans are angry and we are banding together to let NBC know that enough is enough.

    Join us and voice your frustrations over Southland’s cancellation http://www.Twitter.com/SaveSouthLAnd or @SaveSouthLAnd

    Other links:
    Twitition: http://twitition.com/n3tvb
    Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/nbcsouthland
    Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=171360942974&ref=ts

    Please join the fight and let NBC know that they have gone too far!

  23. NBC IS the biggest loser. I was looking forward to the new season of this show and watching it LIVE while dvring Medium. Now I’ll only be watching Heroes on NBC and that isn’t even really worth watching anymore and hasn’t been for a long time.

    As a friend of mine just told me, “They ought to just put webcams in Leno’s house and put him on six hours a day for as much as they kiss his ass.” LOL I agree!

    I’d much rather see this show end up on another network that will treat it with respect than to see NBC change their minds and air it on theirs. So long NBC.

  24. It sucks! It was the best show!!!!

  25. I would like to add my voice to the outrage, but really with Jay hogging up the traditional drama time slot what did we think was going to happen? Any adult programing they had was going to me moved an hour earlier and get neutered in this process. Get ready for a lot more Dateline pedophile shows and the Biggest Loser. This only leaves Law and Order and really they are ready to can that with the move to Fridays. CBS owns Fridays funny Medium a former NBC show is doing just fine on CBS. Hopefully some network will pick up Southland, and it won’t go the way of Life.

  26. Write to Warner Brothers Television, the producers of Southland, to show your support for the show.

    Peter Roth
    President
    Warner Brothers Television
    4000 Warner Blvd.
    Burbank CA 91522
    Tel. 818 -954-6000
    Fax 212-954-7667

    Bruce Rosenblum
    President, Warner Bros. Television Group
    Warner Bros. Entertainment
    4000 Warner Blvd.
    Burbank, CA 91522
    Phone 818.954.6000
    Fax 212-954-7667

    Ken Werner
    President
    Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
    Warner Bros. Entertainment
    4000 Warner Blvd.
    Burbank, CA 91522
    Phone 818.954.6000
    Fax 212-954-7667

  27. The nbc.com/southland site, which was shut down earlier is open again. Go there and leave comments.

    http://www.nbc.com/southland/

  28. First … it was Life, then Kings, now Southland. All three of those shows were well-made, intelligent and thought-provoking, and what does NBC do?

    Dump them to air Jay Leno five hours a week.

    This is total crap, folks, and I’m off to write a few polite, but firm letters. Since these people in Hollywood — in a sense — work for us, it’s time we let them know that we’re not going to waste our hard-earned money on the junk they decide to put on TV, while dumping shows which respect the fact that we have intelligence.

  29. The way NBC has treated Southland and it’s fans is disgusting. I will no longer be watching anything on NBC. Southland is a wonderful show, I just hope it can find a home somewhere else.

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