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Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

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  • Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

    It was announced today that NBC has canceled the police drama Southland two weeks before its scheduled Season Two premiere.

    The show was well received by critics and did reasonably well in the ratings for a mid season replacement during its shortened first season earlier this year. The program was seen by many as offering a very realistic view of police work as seen through the eyes of rookie cop Ben Sherman (played by former OC star Ben McKenzie). It also featured a gay character as his partner, giving a different view of the world behind the badge.

    For me the show was quite entertaining, giving a look at both the world of the police officer on the streets as well as the complex problems this profession can create in their personal lives. While many think of Mr. McKenzie as being just a pretty boy actor I found him to be quite talented and with a strong stage presence. You wanted him to succeed and felt yourself rooting for him.

    His partner (played by Michael Cudlitz) presented a different angle on this theme, with his street image as an experienced ‘tough guy’ cop contrasting with his personal life as a semi-closeted gay man. Other characters gave us a look at a variety of personal and professional situations.

    Having conceded to being a big fan of the show so my view is somewhat biased but I think (and others seem to agree) that this could be a sign of problems at NBC with Jay Leno holding the 10pm slot.

    The issue with Southland was that it is (or was) a gritty drama with situations that might not be appropriate for the family viewing time. Since NBC can’t air any one hour show later than 9pm/8pm this becomes a problem and prevents them from keeping shows like Southland on the air.

    In addition the Leno show has not been doing that well in the ratings and often loses to more traditional programming on the other networks. I am not sure what deal NBC has with Leno but if this keeps up they may need to look into changing his schedule.

    Perhaps putting him in three days a week and leaving two slots open for shows like Southland.

    Given the quality of the show I expect someone like USA to pick it up, but NBC may have bigger problems if they can’t air anything with serious drama
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  • #2
    Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

    Having LENO take up the entire week of 10pm is problematic. Trauma and Mercy might have done better at a later time. Leno's show, while moderately entertaining, is just too long to be enjoyable. Maybe one show every thursday in their comedy block would have worked, or daily half an hour show with the occasional hour.


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    • #3
      Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

      I don't think Leno will last as long as he did on the Tonight Show.

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      • #4
        Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

        A lot of people in the entertainment industry saw this as a problem from the beginning when they announced Leno would be doing a 10pm show. Taking that time slot eliminated a lot of 1 hour dramas and other scripted programing that could air at that time. I thought Southland was pretty good, and I had watched a few episodes. I was a big fan of ER so I was willing to give it a chance. I was never a fan of Leno to begin with, so I'd much rather watch a scripted show over a talk show at that time. I would love to see Leno's show reduced to less than 5 days a week. Of course being that NBC is cheap, they may be willing to stay with Leno for the fact that his show cost far less to produce than show like Southland.
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        • #5
          Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

          Not to mention the fact Leno getting his own show at 10, before the tonight show, really cheapens the fact that Conan O'Brien took over. The whole point of leaving the tonight show meant you were done with those kind of talk shows. I guess Leno's trying to hold onto every little bit that he can.
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          • #6
            Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

            Unbelievable. Southland was one of my favorite shows this past season. Really sad to see it go. Jay Leno is just not that funny anymore. The other night I was watching the show and I didn't laugh once. I hope it doesn't last long, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
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            • #7
              Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

              Good news, everyone!

              According to TVGuide.com, TNT is looking to pick up Southland:

              Southland May Be Heading to TNT - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com
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              • #8
                Re: Southland Cancelled: Leno To Blame ?

                EOnline's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that Southland has indeed been picked up by TNT.

                Starting Jan. 12, TNT will debut the six episodes of the sophomore season of Southland that never aired, along with seven episodes of the previously aired first season. It will air opposite Jay Leno in the 10 p.m. slot.
                Take That, NBC! TNT Picks Up Southland - E! Online

                EDIT: It is also being reported on TVGuide.com:

                Southland: TNT Will Air Existing Episodes, No New Episodes Ordered - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com
                Last edited by caesarboxfan; 11-02-2009, 01:50 PM.
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