For those not keeping track at home,was canceled last fall by NBC just before it was to premiere on Fridays at 9pm, claiming it was "too dark" for the hour.
I judged that to be PR speak for "The show was a ratings dog (finishing with just a 2.0 adults 18-49) and a Ben Silverman (now ousted) project, so while it's hilariously late in the process, we're just doing now what we should have done last spring".
ThePR machine cried "Blame Jay Leno!" and looked for another network for the show.
Produced by Warner Brothers, the show found a new home on TNT (also owned by Warner Brothers corporate parent Time Warner), where it has re-aired the episodes that appeared on NBC last season. Now on March 2, the new episodes, produced for NBC for this season but later acquired by TNT, will begin airing. TNT has made no commitment, as yet, to produce new episodes.
After the "re-premiere" episode in January, the primaryairings on TNT have averaged about 1.3 million viewers and a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating. Not good, but hey, they're repeats.
To add a little internecine warfare angle, NBCU has both USA's, and NBC's (which has the "golden hope for NBC's spring" PR buzz about it) facing off with Tuesday's at 10pm.
How are you feeling about Southland as unaired originals begin this week?
This is one of the tougher projects we've ever done, because there's really not an experience in a playbook. It was difficult to wrap our arms around it. It's not an original that we've been seeding and launching, and it's also not an acquired show like aor Law & Order that has a track record. So, I'm cautiously optimistic, but with a big capital C in "cautious" because I just don't know; I don't have a feel for it. I hope it works.
Wow. If you've read as many PR massaged TV network exec sound bites as I have, that translates roughly into "Don't blame me when this show tanks (the corporate overlords shoved it down our throats)".
And it's interesting that he would call Southland a show without a track record and compare it to The TNT announced the syndication deal. Southland had a 7 episode (1/3 of a year) track record before its TNT deal. Maybe what he really meant to say was that The had a good track record.. The had a one season (and a month) track record when
I doubt that its new episode ratings on TNT will make NBC regret canceling Southland. I doubt it will do better than, and while no one in their right mind could expect it to do better than , I doubt it will even be in the ballpark. The real measure of "success" for the show will come if TNT orders new episodes. I hope they're not easily scared.
What ratings does Southland need in new episodes to "haunt" NBC or spook TNT? How do you think it will do?