‘Southland’ draws 1.8 million for debut

Tuesday competition hurts TNT cop drama

TNT’s cop drama “Southland” got off to a sluggish start Tuesday night.

From Warner Bros. Television, the fourth-season premiere drew 1.8 million viewers for its initial 10 p.m. telecast. That was down from the 2.1 million the show garnered a year ago in its season three debut episode.

“Southland,” which averaged 1.9 million viewers last season for its initial telecast each week, saw a 1 million increase per week when live+7 was included.

Show, from exec producers John Wells and Chris Chulack, features an ensemble that includes Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King.

Competition was tough Tuesday at 10 o’clock. USA Network’s “White Collar” garnered 3.2 million viewers and FX drama “Justified” gathered another 3.1 million.

Ever since it launched on NBC in 2009, “Southland” has been a critical hit but has never been a big ratings draw.