Southland (TV series)

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Genre Police procedural, drama
Starring Kevin Alejandro
Arija Bareikis
Michael Cudlitz
Shawn Hatosy
Regina King
Michael McGrady
Benjamin McKenzie
Tom Everett Scott
C. Thomas Howell
Theme music composer Frederico de Brito and Ferrer Trindade
Opening theme "Canção Do Mar", by Dulce Pontes (instrumental version)
Country of origin United States of America
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 43 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Ann Biderman
Christopher Chulack
John Wells
Location(s) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Running time 40-45 min
Production company(s) John Wells Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel NBC (season 1)
TNT (seasons 2–5)
Original run April 9, 2009 – April 17, 2013
External links

Southland (stylized as SouthLAnd) is an American drama series[1] created by writer Ann Biderman and produced by Warner Bros. Television. It originally aired on NBC for one season from April 9, 2009, to May 21, 2009, and then on TNT for four additional seasons from March 2, 2010, to April 17, 2013. On May 1, 2009, NBC announced that Southland had been renewed for a second season with an initial 13-episode order to begin airing on Friday, September 25, 2009, at 9:00 pm, one hour earlier than its original time slot.[2] On August 27, 2009, shortly before its scheduled premiere, NBC moved the opening of its second season to October 23, 2009, citing the need to promote the show more fully.[3] On October 8, 2009, NBC announced that the series had been canceled.[4]

On November 2, 2009, TNT announced it had purchased the rights to Southland's original seven episodes, as well as six completed episodes from its second season. Southland began airing on TNT on January 12, 2010.[5][6] On April 26, 2010, TNT announced it had picked up Southland for a ten-episode third season to begin airing on January 4, 2011.[7] TNT's renewal of the show included a substantial budget cut and corresponding cast reduction.[8] Southland was renewed for a ten-episode fourth season on March 22, 2011,[9] which premiered on January 17, 2012.[10] The series was renewed for a ten-episode fifth and final season which began airing February 13, 2013.[11]

On May 10, 2013, TNT announced that Southland had been cancelled.[12][13]


Southland takes a "raw and authentic look" at Los Angeles and the lives of the LAPD officers who police it. The show's first season centers on the experiences and interactions of LAPD patrol officers and detectives, and is more a character-driven drama than a police procedural.[14][15]

Among the characters are rookie Officer Ben Sherman and his training officer, John Cooper who, unknown to most of his colleagues, is homosexual; Detective Lydia Adams, who must balance work with the responsibility of living with her mother; Officer Chickie Brown, who aspires to be the first woman on the LAPD's elite SWAT team; and Detective Sammy Bryant, whose home life interferes with his working life.[14]

After its first season on NBC, Southland moved to TNT network. The second season placed less emphasis on the ensemble cast, instead focusing more on the Adams, Sherman, Cooper and Bryant characters and their partners. Also, the weekly stories centered more on how crimes came together, with fewer serialized story lines.[16][17]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Actor Character Rank Notes
Michael Cudlitz John Cooper Police Officer III+1
(Season 1–5)
Hollywood Division, Officer Sherman's former FTO (Season 1–3), Officer Tang's former partner (Season 4), Officer Steele's FTO (Season 5). Senior Lead Officer
Shawn Hatosy Sammy Bryant Detective II
(Season 1–3)

Police Officer III
(Season 4–5)

Southeast Division Detectives, Detective Moretta's former partner; (fictional) Alvarado Division, Officer Sherman's partner
Regina King Lydia Adams Detective II
(Season 1–5)
West Bureau Detectives
Benjamin McKenzie Ben Sherman Police Officer I
(Season 1–3)

Police Officer II
(Season 4–5)

Hollywood Division, Officer Cooper's former boot; (fictional) Alvarado Division, Officer Bryant's partner
C. Thomas Howell Bill "Dewey" Dudek Police Officer III
(Season 5, Recurring 1–4)
Hollywood Division, Officer Brown's former partner[18]
Kevin Alejandro Nate Moretta Detective II
(Season 1–3)
Southeast Division Detectives, Detective Bryant's former partner
Arija Bareikis Chickie Brown Police Officer III
(Season 1–3)
Hollywood Division, Officer Dudek's former partner; transferred to Metro Division in Season 4
Michael McGrady Daniel "Sal" Salinger Detective III
(Season 1–3)
Southeast Division Detectives, Supervisor
Tom Everett Scott Russell Clarke Detective II
(Season 1, Recurring 2–3, 5)
West Bureau Detectives, Detective Adams' former partner

Recurring cast[edit]

Actor Character Rank Notes
Denise Crosby Susan Salinger Captain I
(Season 1–2)
Detective Salinger's wife
Patrick Fischler Kenny "No-Gun" Detective I
(Season 1–2)
Gangs & Narcotics Division
Lex Medlin Andy Williams Detective I
(Season 1–2)
Gangs & Narcotics Division
L. Scott Caldwell Enid Adams
(Season 1–5)
Detective Adams' mother
Emily Bergl Tammi Bryant
(Season 1–5)
Detective Bryant's ex-wife
Yara Martinez Mariella Moretta
(Season 1–3)
Detective Moretta's widow
Hedy Burress Laurie Cooper
(Season 1–3, 5)
Officer Cooper's ex-wife
Roxana Brusso Alicia Fernandez Detective III
(Season 1–5)
West Bureau Detectives, Detective Adams' supervisor
Amaury Nolasco Rene Cordero Detective I
(Season 2)
West Bureau Detectives, Detective Adams' interim partner
Laz Alonso Gil Puente Detective II
(Season 2–3)
Gang Task Force Detective, with Detectives Bryant & Moretta
Mario Cortez Officer Munoz Police Officer III
(Season 2–5)
Division within West Bureau
Jenny Gago Josie Ochoa Detective II
(Season 3)
West Bureau Detectives, Detective Adams' former partner
Bokeem Woodbine Officer Jones Police Officer III
(Season 3–4)
Alvarado Division
Jamie McShane Terry Hill Sergeant I
(Season 3–)
Hollywood Division, Supervisor
Jack Forbes Dell Cooper
(Seasons 3, 5)
Officer Cooper's father
Lucy Liu Jessica Tang Police Officer III
Sergeant I
(Season 4)
Hollywood Division, Officer Cooper's former partner; West Los Angeles Division, Supervisor in Season 4 (episode 10)
Dorian Missick Ruben Robinson Detective I
(Season 4–5)
West Bureau Detectives, Detective Adams' current partner
Lou Diamond Phillips Danny Ferguson Police Officer III
(Season 4)
Alvarado Division
Carl Lumbly Joel Rucker Captain I
(Season 4)
Alvarado Division Commanding Officer
Chad Michael Murray Dave Mendoza Police Officer II
(Season 5)
Alvarado Division
Lesley Fera Sgt. Waters Sergeant I
(Season 5)
Alvarado Division Supervisor
Derek Ray Gary Steele Police Officer I
(Season 5)
Hollywood Division. Officer Cooper's "boot"
Anthony Ruivivar Hank Lucero Police Officer III
(Season 5)
Hollywood Division, Officer Cooper's partner; killed on duty


The series was created by Emmy Award-winning writer Ann Biderman, who began her television writing career on the first season of police drama NYPD Blue. The series' executive producers are Biderman, Christopher Chulack, and John Wells. Wells and Chulack, both also Emmy Award winners, had previously worked together on critically acclaimed medical drama ER and emergency services drama Third Watch. Many other crew members had previously worked with Wells and Chulack on these series. Wells and Biderman also write for the series and Chulack is a regular director. Biderman left her executive producer position after the second season but continued to write for the series' third season.

Ex-police officer Angela Amato Velez served as a consulting producer and writer for the first season; she had previously worked for the executive producers on Third Watch. Dee Johnson also served as a consulting producer and writer for the first season; she had previously worked with Wells and Chulack on ER. Emmy Award-winning writing team Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green were hired as executive consultants and writers for the second and third seasons; they had previously worked together as executive producers on The Sopranos. Diana Son served as a consulting producer and writer for the second season; she had previously worked on the crime drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

David Graziano became a co-executive producer for the second season. Andrew Stearn was a producer for the first two seasons and was promoted to co-executive producer for the third season; he had previously worked on Third Watch. Jonathan Lisco was hired as a co-executive producer for the third season; he is a former lawyer and created the New Orleans police drama K-Ville. Jason Horwitch, creator of AMC's Rubicon, joined the show as consulting producer for the fourth season.[19]

ER and Third Watch veteran Nelson McCormick is also a regular director for Southland. Steadicam expert J. Michael Muro serves as a regular cinematographer and occasional director for the series. Dana Gonzales is the other regular director of photography.

The producers used both actual and former gang members to play the role of gangsters in Southland.[20]


Southland has received positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the first season received an average score of 69, based on 22 reviews[21] and the second season received an average score of 77, based on 12 reviews[22] both indicating "Generally favorable reviews". Upon returning for its third and fourth season the series received wide critical acclaim, receiving an average score of 81, based on 9 reviews for the third season[23] and an average score of 87, based on 7 reviews for the fourth season both indicating "Universal acclaim".[24] Season 5 has a rating of 86/100 based on 8 reviews.[25]

Alessandra Stanley for The New York Times compared Southland favorably to series like The Shield, Rescue Me and The Wire in citing the series debut as "one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series". Noting the show's "bold, contemporary tone", Stanley concluded that "Southland is commendably stinting and cold, a series that doesn’t aim to please, and is all the more pleasurable for it."[26] In a second review a year later, Mike Hale was less effusive in his praise. While commending the series for fine performances from its cast—in particular Cudlitz, McKenzie and Hatosy—and its combination of straightforward immediate plots and long-range storytelling, Hale criticized the "heavyhandedness" he saw in some of the writing, noting especially the "sententious lectures about the nature of police work" delivered to Sherman by Cooper in the pilot episode. He finds the show "worthy" but in need of work to qualify as a classic.[27]

Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal says "Prattle is, in any case, a minor note compared with the crackling pace of the first script, its evocative mood of menace at every turn, each police car racing to destinations that will reveal who knows what tragedy or unspeakable sight."[28] The Kansas City Star stated the show in even a more positive light saying "Southland is built to be bigger, and in that sense it succeeds immediately, thanks to excellent casting (especially Michael Cudlitz and Regina King as a cop and a detective), gritty location shooting around L.A. and storytelling that doesn’t hold the viewer’s hand."[29]

Home media releases[edit]

Shortly before its TNT premiere, Warner Home Video released the first season on DVD in an uncensored version, with the profanities intact.

In May 2011, they[who?] also released the second season in a similarly uncensored version. This title is currently only available through the studio's manufacture-on-demand (MOD) program.

On February 5, 2013, a box set titled Southland: The Complete Second, Third, and Fourth Seasons was released on DVD; it included over an hour of bonus features.[30]

On August 13, 2013, Warner Home Video released the show's final season on DVD.

The studio is not currently considering Blu-ray releases for any of the show's seasons.

DVD Name Region 1 Release Date Region 2 Release Date Region 4 Release Date Ep # Discs Additional Information
Season 1 January 26, 2010[31] September 26, 2011 April 17, 2013 7 2 Southland: Redefining the Cop Drama. Available in HD from iTunes
Season 2 May 24, 2011[32] September 26, 2011 April 17, 2013 6 2 This DVD is made available through the Warner Bros. Made on Demand DVD Program at,,, and Available in HD on iTunes.
Season 3 February 5, 2013 August 12, 2013 August 14, 2013 10 3 Southland: Redefining the Cop Drama

Southland: Crime Tour Pods

Season 4 February 5, 2013 August 12, 2013 August 14, 2013 10 3 Available in HD on iTunes and Amazon
Season 5 August 13, 2013 TBA TBA 10 2 Available in HD on iTunes and Amazon

International broadcasting[edit]

Country Network Series Premiere
 Argentina Space June 10, 2010
 Australia GEM
November, 2010
 Belgium (French) RTBF April, 2012
 Brazil SBT[33]


March 14, 2011
 Bulgaria PRO.BG January, 2010
 Canada (English)

 Quebec (French)

Super Channel
April 9, 2009 (season 1)[34]
March 15, 2010[35]
June 5, 2010
 Finland MTV3[36] February 23, 2011
 France OCS Choc January 10, 2010
 Germany kabel eins[37] August 28, 2012
 Hungary Viasat3[38] June 2, 2011
 Iceland Stöð 2 April 6, 2010
 Ireland 3e June 6, 2010
 Israel HOT Zone October 23, 2012[39]
 Italy AXN January, 2010
 Lithuania TV1 March, 2011
 New Zealand TV1 November, 2011
 Norway TVNorge September 28, 2009
 Portugal Fox Portugal November 30, 2009
 South Africa M-Net Action May 2010
 Slovenia Kanal A September 2011
 Sweden TV3 October 7, 2009
 Turkey DiziMax January 2010
 United Kingdom More4[40] July 1, 2010


  1. ^ Wyatt, Edward. NBC's Latest Drama Has a (Temporary) Home, New York Times, April 8, 2009. Accessed August 5, 2009.
  2. ^ Littleton, Cynthia; Schenider, Michael (May 1, 2009). "NBC picks up 'Southland'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  3. ^ Bryant, Adam (27 August 2009). "NBC Pushes Southland's Premiere to October". Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 8, 2009). "Southland Cancelled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  5. ^ "TNT Picks Up Acclaimed Drama SOUTHLAND". TNT. 2009-11-02. 
  6. ^ Stetler, Brian. "Turner Entertainment Sees the Broadcast Networks as Its Fattest Target", The New York Times, November 1, 2009. Accessed January 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "TNT Renews Acclaimed Series SOUTHLAND for Third Season". Turner Broadcasting System. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on April 29, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "'Southland' Facing Budget & Cast Trims –". Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 22, 2011). "Southland Renewed for Fourth Season by TNT". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ "TNT – Southland: Home". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  11. ^ "'Southland' Renewed by TNT For 10 Episode Fifth Season". TV by the Numbers. May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "TNT’s ‘Southland’ Cancelled After Five Seasons". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 10, 2013). "'Southland' & 'Monday Mornings' Canceled by TNT". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford. The Futon's First Look: "Southland" (NBC), The Futon Critic, April 1, 2009. Accessed January 24, 2010.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford. NBC at TCA: Leno, Silverman Draw Focus, The Futon Critic, August 6, 2009. Accessed January 24, 2010.
  17. ^ Borzillo-Vrenna, Carrie and Megan Masters. "NBC at TCA: Chuck Update, Southland Retools & More". E! Online, 5 August 2009.
  18. ^ Ausiello, Michael (November 8, 2012). "Exclusive: Southland Elevates C. Thomas Howell to Series Regular in Season 5". TVLine. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Jason Horwitch". 
  20. ^ "Interview with Ben McKenzie on TBS". 
  21. ^ "Southland - Season 1 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Southland - Season 2 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Southland - Season 3 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Southland - Season 4 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Southland - Season 5 Reviews, Ratings, Credits and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ "From the Pampered Life to Police Work on the Mean Streets". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  27. ^ Hale, Mike (2010-03-01). "Patrolling for Felons and Kudos on Sun-Blinded Streets". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  28. ^ Dorothy Rabinowitz (April 3, 2009). "Truth and Consequences". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  29. ^ Aaron Barnhart (April 8, 2009). "New network shows: Haven't I seen you before?,". The Kansas City Star. [dead link]
  30. ^ Rawden, Jessica (October 25, 2012). "Southland: The Complete Second, Third And Fourth Seasons Are Coming To DVD In February". Cinema Blend. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Southland DVD news: Press Release for Southland - The Complete 1st Season: Uncensored". Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  32. ^ "Southland DVD news: Announcement for Southland - The Complete 2nd Season (Uncensored)". Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  33. ^ Ronei. "Séries Da Tv Aberta: Sbt Estreia Mais Uma Nova Série". Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  34. ^ "SOUTHLAND Debut Wins Timeslot with 1.34 Million Viewers on CTV". April 13, 2009. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Super Channel Southland schedule". Super Channel. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  36. ^ "Southland". 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  37. ^ "Kabel eins zeigt 2010 Southland". 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  38. ^ "Emlékeztető: Terepen" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  39. ^ "הדרמה המשטרתית עטורת השבחים "סאות'לנד"- החל מה-23.10 ב" (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  40. ^ Holmwood, Leigh. More4 buys LA cop show Southland, The Guardian, August 28, 2009. Accessed January 15, 2010.

External links[edit]