Benjamin McKenzie of 'Southland'
," rescued from the NBC trash heap by TNT
, has been ordered for a third season by the cable network.
The journey of "Southland" is well-known: NBC ordered the show, changed its name three times, aired six episodes and ordered a second season, but sent it to the wilderness of Friday nights. Then, before even premiering the second season, NBC dropped the show (perhaps noticing ratings for the first season) and TNT picked it up. TNT aired encores of the first six episodes and then the seven episode second season.
In its seven original TNT airings, "Southland" averaged 2.7 million viewers, including 1.4 million in the 18-49 demo. Those numbers, even by TNT, aren't on the high side, but TNT eagerly boasts that "Southland" is a strong DVR series.
"'Southland' is a challenging, visceral show that engages viewers with its immersive style, provocative storylines and complex characters," says Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming, for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "These qualities have made 'Southland' a favorite among critics and appointment viewing for an extremely loyal audience."
TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the third season of "Southland," which will premiere in January 2011.
Created by Ann Biderman, the Los Angeles cop drama features Benjamin McKenzie, Regina King, Kevin Alejandro, Michael Cudlitz and more.
Since the second season aired on TNT, but was produced on an NBC budget, it remains to be seen what corners will be cut for "Southland" to return next year on a TNT budget.