Exclusive: Southland Inching Closer to Renewal

Somewhere Det. Nate Moretta is smiling: TNT is thisclose to renewing Southland for a fourth season, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The little cop drama that could — which TNT famously rescued from NBC’s scrap heap — averaged a solid 2.9 million viewers for its just-wrapped third season, up 6 percent over season 2.  The show also garnered some of the best reviews of its entire run, with much of the praise aimed at series stars Shawn Hatosy and Michael Cudlitz. (I’ll be shocked if Warner Bros. doesn’t mount a major Emmy campaign for the pair.)

The cable net is still hammering out an exact episode count for the fourth season, but insiders say it will once again be in the 10-episode ballpark.

Thoughts? Ecstatic? Relieved? Waiting for the official word to come down before doing any cartwheels?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Alex M says:

    Yay!! Thanks Michael

  2. Krystal says:

    There needs to be a special award for Michael Cudlitz in the “ability to accurately portray a bad back” category. Having had a bad back for over 10 years, my mom and giggle every time he’s on screen with the “oh I’ve done that,” or “I’ve had to get out of bed like that” type of stuff. :P

  3. karen says:

    I have been waiting for this news. So excited!!!!

  4. JoJo says:

    This is my favorite show, I hope it gets a renewal. But if Warner Bros is mounting an Emmy campaign, they’d better include Regina King!

    • Beth says:

      I completely agree. She’s my favorite actor on that show. Great range. Plus, I giggle every time I remember her having to listen to her mom have sexy time in their house with the thin walls. Heh.

    • Dennis says:

      I know, right? Regina is so deserving of some Emmy love!

    • ryan7 says:

      Go Michael and Ben. Southland absolutely rocks, best cop show ever. They could make it better by getting rid of the female characters who pretend to be cops. Men are better than women at being stronger, fster and smarter cops [to say the least]. Get those dumb, weak bitches out and this show will surely win a grammy.

  5. GOD says:


  6. A says:

    I suppose TNT DOES know drama.

    – A

    (Seriously though, I’ve been waiting for this for awhile. Hopefully DVD releases of seasons 2 and 3 are on the horizon as well.)

  7. Kevin says:

    Thank god it’s getting renewed. Best season so far.

  8. I’m excited! TNT definitely knows drama! This and The Closer are my two favorite shows on TV. I’m hoping the final say comes in soon because I can’t wait for the next season.

    And it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more episodes to the next season…. ;)

  9. jack says:

    i hope that the ten neighborhood is more like 12. ten episodes just isn’t a long enough season.

  10. Paulysj says:

    I hope you’re right and it does definitely get renewed. There is no better or smarter show on TV these days. In an era of totally crappy “reality” shows ( See Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing With The Stars, etc, etc, etc) a show like Southland is a blessed relief!

  11. Don J says:

    Good news. Now Warner Bros needs to release season 2 and 3 on DVD. Here’s a thought….Southland: The Complete 2nd and 3rd season. After all, it’s only 16 episodes combined.

  12. Stephanie says:

    YES! Southland is one of the best shows on television right now and this past season was the best so far. It has such great writing and the cast is immensely talented. I wish more people were watching it because they’re missing out. I tell everyone I know to watch.

    I would love to see Michael and Shawn get Emmy campaigns. They both deserve it.

  13. jane says:

    How is this exclusive?

    Here’s the original article from Variety: (from march 6)


  14. annieball says:

    they need to come up with an ensomble award for the whole cast..fantastic show. now if we could just get TNT to pick up Detroit 187..

  15. Tucker says:

    It’s so great that this show has found life since being cast off a broadcast network. I wasn’t able to catch a good chunk of Season 2 or any of Season 3, but I’ve been a fan since it first began. Always felt it deserved a chance to grow, find its voice and mature into the show it held promise to be.

    Kudos to TNT for recognizing a winner and continuing to throw support behind it.

  16. Leah says:

    yay!!!!!!!!!!! Ill take 10 episodes over none but i REALLY wish they did the normal # of epiodes in a season (the 20 ballpark) :( LOVE this show! MY FAV! my last request….have moretta come back from the dead!

  17. Taylor says:

    Awesome! I love this show. It’s one of the best cop dramas on television.

  18. Lisa says:

    I’m ecstatic, but I won’t be doing any cartwheels until it’s official. I also agree that Regina King deserves an Emmy nod for her portrayal of Detective Adams. There should also be a special category for Ben McKenzie, for conveying emotion without uttering a single word.

    • Shayne says:

      I’ll second that “special category” for Ben McKenzie. I didn’t think anything would get me to watch a cop show, but after 5 seconds of the very first episode, I was in. All it took was watching Ben McKenzie work that mojo without a single word like you say. I don’t even think there was any background sound, just total silence and him and the guy he’d just shot on his first day. That is so not the typical cop show or the typical show. When I think of Southland, that’s what I think of. It’s the power to move powerfully, but subtly. Kudos to Mr. McKenzie for that and let’s hope for more!

    • Bob says:

      What? A special category for conveying emotion without uttering a single word. All actors do that. It’s called ACTING.

  19. aaronite_1 says:

    Fantastic show, and the fact that they have a gay character with no emphasis on him being any different than anyone else gets a huge thumbs up from me!

  20. Bella says:

    I’m thrilled with this news! And I agree, Regina King needs to be added to the list, too. And Benjamin McKenzie, too, as he’s also done great work on this show. Heck, who hasn’t? Just a wonderful cast.

  21. ann says:

    Love this show!! I laugh every time I think that NBC canceled this for Leno. Stupid gits!

  22. DL says:

    Have been watching Season 3 a second time through, and just watched “Code 4” again last night. Hatosy’s final moments in that episode are just absolutely riveting, some of the best acting I have ever seen on TV. In fact, apart from the credits rolling afterwards, you could swear you’re watching a real person. Cudlitz has also been completely fantastic this season.
    I love Regina King as well, and I really want to see her get even more juicy emotional stuff next season like Hatosy and Cudlitz have been given.
    Also Ben McKenzie really does a great job rounding out the cast, and actually he’s had some of his own power moments (like the one with him and his mom in the car and the end of episode 3, “Discretion”).

    • TL says:

      Ben McKenzie sure deserves recognition and also, WHEN the show is renewed, more material along the lines of “Discretion” or the season finale. Just go back to the pilot episode right in the very first scene. Awesome, Emmy-quality in the first seconds of a first episode to get the ball rolling. He didn’t have much to work with this season, but he elevated even the most ordinary writing. With a story arc to develop, he could have added even more for an even stronger season all around.

      Here’s to an outstanding cast getting more opportunities to shine and outshine the dismal reality trend dragging down the medium.

  23. Belnda says:

    I am all three. Now TNT bring on the leaping and confirm! This is simply fantastic television and without a doubt Emmy winning nevermind worthy acting. They should definitely mount a huge campaign and the Southies will be there to promote the heck out of it.

  24. JR says:

    This is so great to hear! PLEASE, TNT, renew this awesome show! It is one of the only shows that I watch regularly – and the only drama, because it is so well done. The writing is fantastic, the performances are incredible and gritty … I can’t think of anyone on this show whose performances I don’t love – Regina King, Michael Cudlitz and Shawn Hatosy are stand-outs, there is no doubt about that! Southland continues to heat up and gather momentum as more and more people spread the word that it’s a show you don’t want to miss. And it gets better with each season, so how about Season 4 – and MORE than 10 episodes!?!?

  25. Diana says:

    Please, please, please!

  26. Didi says:

    This is a superlative show in every way, from concept, writing,techinical/shooting, and the acting is off-the-charts good! This is definitely my favorite show on TV now, and my favorite cop show of all time. TNT, please give us as many new eps as you possibly can!

  27. SaraK says:

    Ecstatic, excited, happy – every good emotion! But I will wait for the Official notice to start the cartwheels.

  28. Miss M says:

    OMG I’m thrilled. This IS THE BEST SHOW ON TV right now. I just wish other websites (like your old employer) would give it more coverage which would help Southland’s audience grow.

  29. Olivia says:

    Def the best cop show in years! RENEW RENEW RENEW!

  30. Molly says:

    It should definitely be renewed. It’s a great show. I hope it’s much, much more than just ten episodes.

  31. Jake says:

    i dont watch the show but i hear its really good and has alot of loyal fans so thats awesome its going to be renewed.

  32. KC says:

    I love this show, it is nice to be able to to watch quality programing! The networks are full of so much crap like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars!

  33. Cat says:

    Every season TNT renews this show makes the network look better and better. I think it’s one of the three or four best shows on any network right now.

  34. Amber says:

    That is good news. Southland has filled the hole left in my heart by the cancellation of the original Law and Order.

  35. tj says:

    yes! renew and how about Ben McKenzie in there for a shout out!

  36. Addy says:

    I am so happy to hear this news. I love TNT so much for continuing to bring us this amazing and riveting show. I can’t wait to have it be official and then wait in anticipation for the new season and the great characters the writers of this show have created.

  37. frank Loconsole says:


  38. Marilyn says:

    Without a doubt I truly have to go through a 12 step program in dealing with the withdrawals I am having while waiting for the new season to start!!

  39. Lisa says:

    Thanks for this update, Michael. SUCH a terrific show!

  40. el says:

    Mount an Emmy campaign for REGINA KING as well.

    • el says:

      And I agree with Mckenzie. He wasn’t given much to do this season but the little that he was given, he ran with it. Blame it on the short season; Sherman’s storylines were truncated to give way to storylines for the other characters. Come next season, I hope the writers devote more time on his character.

      • Collin says:

        We were really looking forward to seeing what Ben McKenzie would do in S3. You’re right, when he got the occasional ball, he ran all the way. Touchdown. When he was relegated to the sidelines, which didn’t make much sense when his character was in training with so much to deal with for the first time and a very compelling story to tell to viewers who would be new to it all too, he still made all the little things engaging, convincing and very worth watching. There are actors who I “watch” by listening to their lines, and then there is someone like Ben McKenzie who I really pay attention to by for all the details. With him, it’s never about what someone wrote on a page. He takes it way beyond that. So, more of a defined story like what was set up and promoted from the start would be my wish after a secured S4.

        There’s an excellent ensemble with depth, but I hope Ben’s character gets more chances after the ones that have been missed. It’s too late to go back to impact of being in training and facing all the firsts, but I hope there’s official word for the opportunity for everyone to go forward even better.

        • Bob says:

          I do not understand? I saw Mckenzie as much as I saw King, Cudlitz, and Hatosy. I thought he had his episode also.

  41. Jugaro says:

    I LOVE this show! Cudlitz rocks!

  42. Tkah says:

    AWSOME! This an excellent show!

  43. BP says:

    YES! Please renew this well-written, character-driven show!

  44. Kitty says:

    So glad TNT picked up this show from that other network…..with so much trash on TV these days, this show is a real gem! =0)

  45. DDB says:

    Can Regina King get some Emmy love? Please???

  46. Andy says:

    After reading Variety’s optimistic article a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been waiting for something official.

    We stay away from the litany of procedurals, but if TNT “knows drama” for real, they’ll keep smart storytelling on the air. We still don’t admit to watching any “cop show,” but we’re all about the intelligent and perceptive, so keep Ben McKenzie on our screens to continue the ongoing workshop in “You Mean this Isn’t Real?” and doing it with minimal words, and we’re good. He’s outstanding at the nuances that erase the line between fiction and reality. Whoever said there should be a special category for him, you’re not alone, but how about those “regular” categories. Now, with another season of chances, the sky would be the limit.

  47. Snsetblaze says:

    I echo the call for awards for Regina King and Ben McKenzie as well. I also hope they make Jennie Gago (Regina’s character’s partner) a regular … her character is a nice counterpoint to Regina’s … and give the actress that plays Chickie Brown a bit more to do (she was sort of left in the background this season).

    • jjtor says:

      I’ll echo the Ben McKenzie and Regina King recognition. It shouldn’t be about awards, but they’re the 2 actors that drew us in, especially Ben McKenzie. He was the one who floored us starting right away. We also like Arija Bareikis (Chickie) and like her character with Ben’s. The two of them together as partners would be a great dynamic to enforce. Arija was really in the background, more than Ben, who also had any story sidelined, but let’s hope that all changes after the green light comes.

      • Bob says:

        I do not see Mckenzie with an Emmy nod for this. Hatosy “floored” me with his emotional range and so did Cudlitz with his drug and back issues. I believed Cudlitz WAS Cooper and Hatosy WAS Sammy. My two favorite scenes is when Sammy final confronts Nates killer and when Cooper is in the desert. Those scenes are Emmy worthy.

        • Francis Smith says:

          I think the last two episodes for McKenzie were really good and definitely Emmy worthy, definitely the last one would be a good Emmy submission. I totally agree with your thoughts on Hatosy – he just was amazing. The Cudlitz scene in the desert was very powerful but I don’t know if the whole episode would hold up. It’s too bad that you can’t submit a real of just your scenes instead of one specific episode. I’m really hoping the Emmy nominations are kind to Southland – they all deserve a nod!

          • Theresa Mahfood says:

            I am not sure about the Ben Mckenzie Emmy. I think he is an OK actor but I do not think he is Emmy worthy. Now Regina King. She is amazing. I would love to see her get an Emmy. Shawn Hatosy is certainly Emmy bound as is Cudlitz.

  48. gtu5 says:

    There are far too few character-driven shows in the so-called reality TV era. Southland is an exception and has a chance to be truly exceptional if it’s not perpetually in limbo and struggling along on a shoestring.

    More, please, TNT. We tune in without fail just to see how Ben McKenzie makes a few thousand words out of a glance, gesture, the slightest movement or a few syallables. Not that we wouldn’t love to hear his voice more often too. Love the understated way he makes it real, something that’s the complete opposite of over-contrived and hammed- up reality “acting.”

  49. Kati says:

    Cudlitz/Hatosy -destroyed it this season. Amazing cast all around. They were snubbed by SAG ensemble.

  50. Juan says:

    I am glad my brother got me started watching this, right the episode before they showed Cooper getting out of bed with that guy.
    I kinda wish they would take that further, just because my brother doesn’t believe Cooper’s gay.
    In bed. Naked. With another man. It can’t get more gay!
    but if it can i’d like to know. :p

    The main reason I got lured in was Regina King. She needs more respect than she gets [period]