NBC Cancels Well-Regarded ‘Southland’
Today, NBC canceled one of the best-reviewed shows of recent years, the police drama “Southland,” before it had a chance to get on the air for its second season.
The show, which premiered in the spring and had a strong start in the ratings, though it struggled in its later episodes, had six new episodes produced for the new season. But NBC delayed its start date from mid-September until Oct. 23. NBC has been filling that hour — 9 p.m. on Fridays — with the newsmagazine show “Dateline NBC.”
Now NBC has dropped “Southland” altogether. Ratings for Friday shows have become universally low, and expensive dramas seem to be faltering especially on Fridays. “Dateline” can be produced for a fraction of the cost.
“Southland” started as a 10 p.m. show on Thursdays, and its style was consistent with others that have played there for decades. But NBC no longer has any 10 p.m. periods for drama because it has moved the new “Jay Leno Show” into that slot every weeknight. The style of “Southland” was largely distinguished by gritty police work and sometimes dark, troubled characters — not unlike previous NBC hits like “Hill Street Blues.”
The rest of you can get all worked up about Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize today. All of my tinfoil hat-wearing outrage is directed at NBC, the network which is, if I hadn't made this clear yet, DEAD TO ME.