Southland lands at TNT


Warner Bros. efforts to find a new home for “Southland” have paid off. Less than a month after being canceled by NBC the gritty cop series has landed at TNT.

TNT announced Monday that the critically acclaimed series by John Wells will begin airing on the cable network in January 2010.

TNT has obtained exclusive rights to air all six episodes that have been shot for the second season, as well as the seven episodes from the series’ first season. Southland will air on TNT Tuesdays at 10 pm (ET/PT), beginning with the first episode of the series on January 12th.

“This is a great win for fans of Southland and a perfect opportunity to introduce the series to new viewers. It’s also another outstanding example of how TNT has established itself as the go-to place for the best dramas on television,” said Steve Koonin, President of Turner Entertainment Networks, in announcing the deal with Warner Bros.

“We are extremely pleased that TNT has acquired all 13 episodes of Southland, giving devoted fans the opportunity to watch a show that they passionately support,” said Peter Roth, President of Warner Bros. Television. We’re delighted that TNT has stepped forward to pick up Southland.  We are all extremely proud of the show,” Wells added.

Southland had premiered on NBC in April to rave reviews and decent ratings. However, with the programming decision to run “The Jay Leno Show” Monday through Friday in the 10-11 pm slot, NBC would have had to put Southland on earlier in primetime. The network ultimately decided that Southland was to dark to air when more children were likely to be in the audience.

RBR-TVBR observation: It will be interesting to see how Southland and The Jay Leno Show stack up in the ratings running head-to-head on Tuesdays. Of course, Leno has the advantage of being on one of the broadcast networks, but some of TNT’s original drama series are showing up in the top 100 for all of television when the TVB puts out its weekly merger of broadcast and cable ratings from The Nielsen Company.