NBC's 'Parenthood' now faces canceled series on TNT

Will “Southland” come back to haunt NBC?

Four months after the Peacock net axed “Southland” because execs thought the L.A. cop show too dark in tone, the network now must face it head-on in a pivotal timeslot.

“Southland,” which was bought by TNT, will now compete directly against “Parenthood,” the series NBC is betting heavily on to lead it in a post-”The Jay Leno Show” 10 p.m. world. USA Network’s “White Collar” is also lurking in the hour as well.

TNT begins a run of six “Southland” original episodes on March 2, and while NBC has a much larger pool of viewers to draw from than basic cable, the series could potentially lower aud totals for “Parenthood,” and vice-versa.

NBC scheduling topper Mitch Metcalf says it was difficult to lose the show to cable. It’s hard to speculate if the Peacock would have dropped “Southland” if “Leno” hadn’t taken five hours of primetime away, but now both it and “Parenthood” have a chance to succeed, or fail, in the same timeslot.

“This just goes to the point of having so many channels out there, and its opportunity for great creators to find places on the air,” Metcalf says. “This show (‘Southland’) is now against us, but I think we’ll all find our audience.”

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