The critically acclaimed, but not always highly watched police drama Southland has had a rocky history. Premiering on NBC in 2009 as a mid-season replacement, reviews were good enough and ratings decent enough that the struggling network quickly picked up a second season of 13 episodes for the following fall. Then something odd happened. NBC announced in late August that the season 2 opener had been moved from September to the end Of October. A rather nebulous reasoning was given of needing to "more fully promote the show's return". Then it got weirder. In early October, NBC very abruptly canceled the series entirely, and offered little to no explanation for the move.
All was not lost though, as cable network TNT rode in like a knight in shining armor and picked up the rights to the series, including all seven previously aired episodes and six new ones intended for its aborted continuation on NBC. The show came back to even more critical raves, and audiences responded, giving the show very respectable ratings numbers for cable. In 2011, TNT produced and aired an original third season of 10 more episodes. Then in January of this year, a fourth season begain airing.
Today, TNT announced that the series has already picked up for a fifth 10 episode season, which will begin airing in February 2013. The story of Southland is truly one of the most remarkable in recent TV history. Very, very rarely does a show survive cancelation, much less go on to spawn multiple new seasons on a different network, but Southland has more than proven to NBC that it made a mistake in killing the series off so quickly. No wonder NBC is still a distant fourth in broadcast network ratings.
Are you pleased that Southland has been guaranteed 10 more episodes? Or do you think NBC had the right idea in the first place?