Cudlitz also had a small role in the third Mighty Ducks movie, D3: The Mighty Ducks, as one of the opposing players. He starred on the NBC/TNT drama Southland as 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, which had previously been a signature feature of his appearance. The show was cancelled in 2013. Cudlitz won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role.
^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."