Solid Gold Soul

October 12, 2009

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Regina King

Regina King

Apparently, Jay Leno is to blame for NBC’s critically-acclaimed-but-ratings-challenged cop drama “Southland” getting the ax just before the launch of its sophomore season.
According to the AP, network brass considered the six episodes produced for the new season to be too dark and gritty for broadcast TV — especially now that the network’s 10 p.m. week-night dramas must air an hour earlier to accommodate “The Jay Leno Show.”

“Southland” was originally scheduled to debut in its new Friday 9 p.m. time slot last month with star Regina King’s role as Det. Lydia Adams expanded. But NBC decided to push the start to Oct. 23 and air “Dateline NBC” in the meantime.

For fans of the show, NBC may air the six produced episodes at some point, and there is a possibility that “Southland” could be shopped to cable networks.

“Southland” premiered in midseason in the Thursday 10 p.m. time period, succeeding NBC’s long-running medical drama, “ER.” But despite solid reviews, the series suffered ratings erosion.

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