“Southland”: Paroled by NBC, bound for TNT?

This is good news. It looks like the wheels are in motion on a deal between Warner Bros. TV and NBC on “Southland” that would pave the way for the police drama to move to TNT.

I’m told that NBC was playing hardball in the negotiations to parole the show, insisting on being paid out in full upfront (or very soon thereafter) for the six episodes it had ordered this season but, for reasons that have nothing to do with the pursuit of quality programming, chose not to air. The $$$ owed to NBC would’ve added huge amounts to the overhead costs on each episode, making it that much harder for John Wells Prods. and WBTV to make economic sense of a new deal for the show on a basic cable license fee.

Hopefully, for the sake of good TV, reason prevailed. I know for a fact “Southland” had high-level champions at the Peacock, and it can’t be easy for them to see it go to another net. But if you love something…yada yada.

As my colleague Michael Schneider reports:

The saga of homeless cop drama “Southland” appeared one step closer to resolution on Friday.
According to a report by The Wrap, Warner Bros. TV and NBC had settled their differences on a deal that would end their relationship on the show — and allow Warner Bros. TV to sell the series to another entity.

That outlet is believed to be TNT, although no pact has been finalized yet. Warner Bros. TV has 13 episodes of “Southland” in the can — including the six produced for NBC this fall before the Peacock pulled the plug.
NBC informed Warner Bros. TV two weeks ago that it would ax the John Wells Prods. skein, which had been set to bow this Friday, Oct. 23. at 9 p.m. NBC is airing “Dateline” in its place.
“Southland” stars Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz as L.A. beat cops.

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