TNT renews ‘southland’ for a third season!

TNT has booked a third season of its critically acclaimed drama SOUTHLAND, from Warner Bros. Television and Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing). The network has ordered 10 episodes for the third season, which is slated to begin airing in January 2011.

It’s at least partly because the show has an extremely loyal audience, so everyone who followed it from those gutless network turds at NBC over to TNT, pat yourself on the back.

The bad news is that the new season won’t start airing until January of 2011. I mean, I get why, they probably have to wait for everyone to be free of whatever other projects they got involved with over the past year, then they have to film 10 new episodes. Still: AAARGH! They better blitz TNT with advertising, starting a couple months before the premiere (like they did for Men of a Certain Age), so everyone doesn’t forget.

Seriously you guys, as much as I hate to use teevee buzzwords like “raw” and “authentic”, the shoe fits. It’s grim, but there are always moments of levity, usually when Cooper has to interact with assholes, as in the clip above. (Another favorite is when a woman called 911 because a fast food joint discontinued the chicken nuggets she’d been eating every day for lunch for 20 years. Ben: “The fish sandwich is really good.”)

I was kind of flabbergasted to learn recently that Ben McKenzie use to be on The OC. But I won’t hold it against him, because he’s so amazing in this role. Michael Cudlitz gets a lot of the glory for his portrayal of Training Officer John Cooper (who is also a gay prescription painkiller addict), and rightly so, because he’s incredible.

But McKenzie, as Cooper’s rookie Officer Ben Sherman, is so good at saying so much with just facial expressions and body language. For reals, I don’t think it would be overdoing it to compare him to like, Steve McQueen. (But don’t tell my mother I said that, or she might disown me.)

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