His most recent role was on the NBC/TNT drama Southland where he played patrol officer John Cooper, a 20-year veteran and training officer. The character struggled with chronic back pain, addiction to pain medication, and ethical issues relating to his partners. Prior to the start of shooting for the show, Cudlitz had a large mole removed from his right upper lip. The mole had previously been a signature feature of the actor's appearance. The show was cancelled in 2013.
In 2009, he appeared in the science fiction film Surrogates as Colonel Brendon.
^Hegedus, Eric. "Shooting from the lip: ‘Southland’ cop sounds off on NBC cancellation and TNT rescue", New York Post, February 28, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2011. "Cudlitz, 45, has moved on. The Flushing native and former Lakewood, NJ, resident, has aroused a lot of interest in his portrayal of Cooper, who has many personal issues, including his developing gay identity, a prescription drug dependency and a job-threatening back injury, and an ex-wife who figures into his pill-popping problem."