Although not a single episode of its planned second season has aired, hard-edged cop drama Southland has been cancelled by NBC, and bloggers see a clear culprit: Jay Leno.
The show’s brief first season never had an especially large audience, but NBC stood by the series (which received mostly strong reviews) and opted to give it a longer chance to build an audience. Of course, former network head Ben Silverman has left NBC
since that decision, and THR
claims that the new NBC higher-ups made the decision after they screened new episodes and decided they were too intense for network TV, especially at the 9 p.m. hour.
That last bit has inflamed industry bloggers, who were quick to name
Jay Leno’s daily 10 p.m. show as the culprit for Southland
’s demise and raised alarm at the prospects for other adult dramas on the network.
producer John Wells, meanwhile, has vowed to try to find the series a new home
on basic cable. In a statement, he wrote in part, “I’m disappointed that NBC no longer has the time periods available to support the kind of critically acclaimed series that was for so many years a hallmark of their success."