Southland has its 2nd mini-season of six episodes finale tonight, and it could well be the show’s series finale, too.

At this point even Leno-in-prime-time-hating, team-Conan-loving, Hollywood company man Josef Adalian is admitting that NBC didn’t make a mistake when it bailed out on Southland.

Do not be deceived by the reports you read of Southland’s great DVR numbers.   For reasons explained here, Turner’s reporting of its Live+7 DVR comparisons are more than a bit deceptive on closer examination and compared to some shows, its DVR numbers, even on a percentage basis comparison are fairly pedestrian.  

For those who avoid link clicking, Turner reports numbers like 59% viewing increases with a week’s worth of DVR viewing!  But that’s compared to live numbers that are never reported anywhere. Compared to the Live+SD numbers reported everywhere (which include one night of DVR viewing) that 59% becomes around 26%.   That 26% compares to routine increases of 40% for Burn Notice, and hellacious increases of over 70% above the Live+SD numbers for some shows during the Olympics.

Sadly, and this doesn’t apply only to Southland, bigger DVR numbers aren’t necessarily better. Since by anyone’s account it seems at least 60% of the commercials are getting skipped when viewed on DVR.

I don’t see any hope for renewal, unless Time Warner values pride and ego more than profits and in the quest to create the appearance of being the exact opposite of everything that’s wrong with NBC, forces TNT to take another season.

Stranger things have happened.  But people win nine digit lotteries too.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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