“Southland” picked up by NBC — and maybe (emphasize maybe) “Chuck” too


Saturday update: Insiders confirm the E! report that decision on “Chuck” is likely to be delayed beyond Monday’s announcement. And word has surfaced that although it looked to be dead, NBC and 20th Century Fox TV are negotiating for a fifth-season pickup of “My Name is Earl.”

Looks like the cops on “Southland” will be back on the beat in the fall.

Word is that NBC has picked up the Warner Bros. TV/John Wells Prods. drama for 13 episodes, probably for a fall slot. NBC execs are hunkered down in New York this weekend making fall pickup decisions in advance of Monday’s “Infront” programming presentation to advertisers in Gotham.

There’s also chatter at this late hour that Warners is in the midst of a big ol’ deal with NBC that includes “Southland” plus a third-season renewal for “Chuck” and greenlight for David E. Kelley pilot “Legally Mad” — after all three projects took a slight haircut in budget. But that’s just email chatter at this point, no confirmation yet. (Sorry all you “Chuck” devotees.)

Ensembler “Southland,” created by Ann Biderman and exec produced by Biderman, John Wells and Christopher Chulack, has delivered solid numbers to NBC in the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot since its debut April 9, and the show has been warmly received by critics. Hard-boiled cop drama will presumably slide to a 9 p.m. berth in the fall, as NBC plans to strip “The Jay Leno Show” Monday-Friday at 10 p.m. hour.

Reps for NBC and Warner Bros. TV could not immediately be reached for comment late Friday.