Will Southland be different on TNT from what it was on NBC?
Aside from obvious changes like basic cable's less restrictive profanity guidelines, the raw cop drama is still very much the show that NBC canceled before its second season even began. TNT is running the six episodes already produced for NBC.
Southland: TNT will air existing episodes, no new episodes ordered
"The show now has a chance to sink or swim on its own merits and not based on some seemingly arbitrary business decision," Michael Cudlitz tells TVGuide.com. "If people watch the show, we will survive. If they don't, we won't."
The show continues to provide a riveting ride-along look at the dangerous aspects of law enforcement in Los Angeles.
"Violence is everywhere," creator and executive producer Ann Biderman says. "And it isn't always perfectly orchestrated the way it's shown [on TV], where people hold the gun sideways, and there are these magnificent shootouts, and the good guys win. Violence is everywhere and that's very much in keeping with the way we show violence on the show. It's not perfectly orchestrated; it's messy, and it comes when you least expect it. I think philosophically and dramatically it's organic to the way we tell stories."
Southland's Ben McKenzie thanks fans, previews "Phase Three"
Officer John Cooper (Cudlitz) is a closeted gay cop who loves his job so much he's become addicted to painkillers to avoid letting his back injury force him into a desk job. In the new season, the addiction becomes more difficult to hide.
Taking note of Cooper's problems is his rookie partner, Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), who's one step closer to finishing his probationary training. "The dynamic absolutely shifts," McKenzie says. "Not only is [Ben] getting more competent as a cop, but he's learning things about John that are unsettling.... It puts a strain on their relationship. Their friendship and partnership is really put to the test because John Cooper really can't deal with the host of issues that he's got, that he's hiding from the force. It's another time for Ben Sherman to step up his own game and become more of the man he's always hoped to be."
Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) faces a much more serious partner problem: In the Season 1 finale, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) gets shot — not in the field, but at his neighbor's house during a Memorial Day barbeque. For Lydia, Russell's recovery will be at the heart of Season 2's long-awaited new episodes.
Check out photos of the Southland cast
"Your partner is like a marriage," King says. "So to potentially lose a partner can be a very emotional thing. Most people don't want to lose that person that you've learned the ropes with. You become the detective you're going to be with that partner in a lot of instances.
"I have some weighty stuff," King continues. "I don't want to come off as this heavy person all the time, but every show or every movie needs some anchor, something that's anchored in truth. I think my character and the weighty things she does have to deal with are things that are very relatable."
"There are no easy resolutions," Biderman says, suggesting her show stands apart from the rest of the TV procedural glut. "There's lots of humor. It's funny; it's moving. The characters are interesting, and the city is interesting. It's not a procedural; it's not a forensic show. It's an interesting character study and I think the show's modern. It's telling stories in a way that's different from pretty much anything else that's on the air right now."
New episodes of Southland begin Tuesday at 10/9c on TNT.