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Series debut: Southland

In series debut, television, tv on 04/09/2009 at 10:44 am

Series name
Southland

Debuts
Thursday, April 9, 10  p.m. ET on NBC a nd CTV (encoring Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV)

Regularly airs
Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC and CTV.

Premise
L.A.-based police drama where the action is seen through the eyes of a rookie.

Primary cast and crew
Benjamin McKenzie (The O.C.) is rookie Ben Sherman

Michael Cudlitz (A River Runs Through It) is John Cooper, Sherman’s new partner. Try not to hate him.

Regina King (Ray, Jerry Maguire) is Det. Lydia Adams, tough on the outside.

Tom Everett Scott (Boiler Room) is Det. Russell Clarke. Softie.

Michael McGrady (Thin Red Line) is Det. Daniel “Sal” Salinger is on the drug squad with the following two.

Kevin Alejandro (Ugly Betty) is Det. Nate Moretta.

Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog) is Det. Sammy Bryant.

Arija Bareikis (Crossing Jordan) is Chickie Brown, a beat cop with big dreams.

C. Thomas Howell (Criminal Minds, Smith, The Outsiders) uncredited as Chickie’s caustic partner.

John Wells (ER), Ann Biderman (Public Enemies, NYPD Blue) and Chris Chulack (ER, Homefront) are exec producers

Trailer

But what do I know anyway? After having actually seen the pilot …
There are a couple of cops that this pilot is working haaaard to make you dislike. It’s shooting, if you’ll pardon the expression, for a Det. Andy Sipowicz way back from NYPD Blue. Me, I find the portrayals so effective I had to work at it to stay tuned. A bit sucky, aware as I am that it’s a ploy to get viewers engaged, to align me with the rookie, who also hates and is revolted by them. But do the work. Stay the course. It’s worth it. There are enough interesting characters introduced — with and without redemption — I can’t remember them all. Considering this comes from John “ER” Wells and co., there’ll probably be many seasons for them all to play out and become as memorable as John Carter the good, Andy Sipowicz the bad and all the ones in between.

Other reviews
Brian Ford Sullivan over at the Futon Critic likes the acting and show, despite the predictability of the characters and plot.

Kelly West at Cinemablend gives it 3.5 stars out of five.

USA Today’s Robert Bianco, on the other hand, finds Southland “unbearable”.

Official website
Usual cast bios, videos and a quiz that tests your cop-talk knowledge plus Exclusives: Ride Along and a map that points out historical crime scenes in South L.A. and Southland crime scenes.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for the complete and updated list of mid-season premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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