The L.A. cop-drama Southland is the best show on television right now and sadly no one in the “casual TV watcher” realm knows about it. The show gets 3 million viewers a week but because it’s on TNT and in the 10pm time slot, not to mention going up against another one of TV’s fantastic shows Justified, no one talks about it the next day.
Being a police officer in real life, Southland is the most realistic cop show I’ve ever seen. The realistic characters, the humanizing way the show makes the “bad guys”, and the actors make the show extremely relatable. That winning formula has worked so well for both the show and the network ever since TNT acquired Southland’s rights from NBC after the show was canceled after its inaugural season. Now in it’s 4th season, it’s third on TNT, the show has quite the following and I personally vouch for it. Rewarding its viewers for being loyal to the show TNT has renewed Southland for a 5th season.
The network did not make clear on what actors would be returning but I would guess that the show’s core actors would all be returning barring some plot twist at the end of the season. Regina King, who plays “Detective Lydia Adams”, is flawless and does not get the recognition she deserves (yes, I know she was nominated for a SAG a few years back for her role in Ray). Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz are also two under-appreciated actors who hold the show together on their own. Lucy Liu has guest starred as a rough cop who’s taken her licks on the street, but with her being cast in CBS’ upcoming Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary, it would probably be a safe bet to say she’s not returning to the show. It’s a pretty big loss cast wise because Liu’s character really adds some much needed depth to the action and dialogue that is exchanged every episode.
The show deserves your attention and maybe TNT will wisen up and take a leap of faith and change the timeslot from 10pm to 9pm that way “casual” viewers give it a shot.