It’s Judgement Time for bubble television shows and while some shows have learned their fate, like Fringe getting a final fifth season, others like Community, Ringer, and Awake hang in the balance. Add TNT’s Southland to the list of shows that can breathe a sigh of relief as the gritty South Central Los Angeles cop show has earned a fifth season. TNT president and head of programming, Michael Wright announced Friday afternoon that 10 episodes have been ordered and will begin airing February 2013.
“We are very proud of Southland and grateful to everyone involved in the series,” Wright said in a statement. “Including executive producers John Wells, Chris Chulack and Jonathan Lisco; creator Ann Biderman; and our partners at Warner Bros. Television. We look forward to going deeper into the lives of Southland‘s extraordinary characters and the streets they struggle to keep safe next year.”
After being left for dead at NBC, Southland found a new home on basic cable at TNT where it has strung two straight 10-episode seasons. Once viewers rediscovered the show on cable, It has grown its audience and gained more younger viewers slowly, but surely. The numbers are still a far cry from its debut on network television, but they have satisfied TNT’s desires enough to have the support to tell their stories without having to look over their shoulder each week. Southland averaged more than 2.9 million viewers in Live+7 this past season, and grew the coveted 18-49 demographic by +3% over the previous season and a +2% in adults 25-54.
Season 4 was highlighted by the lively addition of Lucy Liu as Officer Jessica Tang, the return of Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), life changes for Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King), career advancement for Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), and reversal for Officer Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy). Plus there were thrilling guest-appearances by Lou Diamond Phillips, Carl Lumbly, Tracey Walter, and C. Thomas Howell to name just a few.
Southland is an example of television shows that can grow its audience if given enough time at a supportive network and cable takes into account the Live +7 rating heavily, which takes into account how much viewers are DVRing and viewing within the week of the original air time and date. Congrats to those involved in the production of Southland as well as their fans.