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September 19, 2014

'Southland' on TNT Preview: Cast & Producers Talk What to Expect

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 7th 2010 3:00PM
As TNT's premiere of 'Southland' draws near, fans are no doubt wondering what to expect from the show that NBC so swiftly canceled before its second season could even premiere.

In an exclusive clip we saw from the first new episode -- which will begin airing after the original seven episodes from season 1 premiere on TNT (Tues., Jan. 12, 10PM ET) -- you can tell that the action picks right back up where it left off.

AOL TV got the chance to chat with 'Southland' stars Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King, as well as executive producers Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack. As should be expected, they're all incredibly excited about their new home, their big commercial-free cable premiere, the extra 6-plus minutes of bonus footage that'll also debut with the premiere and the future of the show.

Here are some of the biggest questions they tackled, head-on ... 'Southland'-style.As TNT's premiere of 'Southland' draws near, fans are no doubt wondering what to expect from the show that NBC so swiftly canceled before its second season could even premiere.

In an exclusive clip we saw from the first new episode -- which will begin airing after the original seven episodes from season 1 premiere on TNT (Tues., Jan. 12, 10PM ET) -- you can tell that the action picks right back up where it left off.

AOL TV got the chance to chat with 'Southland' stars Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King, as well as executive producers Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack. As should be expected, they're all incredibly excited about their new home, their big commercial-free cable premiere, the extra 6-plus minutes of bonus footage that'll also debut with the premiere and the future of the show.

Here are some of the biggest questions they tackled, head-on ... 'Southland'-style.

How are things different now, working with TNT? Are there still hard feelings about your bad breakup with NBC?
Ben McKenzie: "Everything that I've experienced from the TNT side of it is they get the show ... perhaps a little better than the other network ever did. And so we're just excited to move forward and to make the show we've always wanted to make. I don't think we have to go back and, you know, "who broke up with who" and "did they do it" and "was anybody cheating"? But for the record they broke up with us. [Laughs] Totally cheated on us. Kind of Tiger Woods. [Laughs]"

Tom Everett Scott's fate was unclear at the end of last season -- what's going to happen with Lydia and her partner?
Regina King: "I think it's really interesting the way they've written what happens with Lydia and her partners, because you will see more of Tom and you will see more of some other faces. So it's an interesting little dance that we're doing to see who's going to end up being Lydia's partner. There's like an ongoing theme on the set ... everyone's like, 'I don't want to be partnered with you!' So right now, I have two or three, maybe four partners."



So can we expect more guest stars?
Ann Biderman: "We do have some guest stars, and then we have some people who are coming back. C. Thomas Howell is back -- we're thrilled with that. He continues to amuse us and he's a great provocateur. There's a lot of humor in the show -- you know it's not all doom and gloom, there's a lot of laughs. We have Amaury Nolasco, Wood Harris, Laz Alonzo ... just terrific actors and we're thrilled that they've joined us. Clifton Collins, Jr. ... so we have some great people coming up.

Are we going to see a lot more of the characters' personal lives in the new episodes?
Michael Cudlitz: "It's a very slow, you know, peeling away of the onion. You'll learn more about everybody and our personal lives. And I think that's one of the very exciting things about the show: it's not just about figuring it out in the last 10 minutes. You're more interested in what's going on with Lydia's mom and her relationship. And why is she single? She's smoking hot, completely amazing at her job and she's single, so what's up with that, you know?"

Ann Biderman: "I'm interested -- I think we all are -- in all of their romantic and sexual lives. Moving forward we promise that that will continue to be interesting."

You all are so passionate when talking about the show ...
Michael Cudlitz: "No one's sitting back just sort of like collecting a paycheck. Everyone's learning every day. If we come on the set and something doesn't work, the writers are very open to making it work. Chris, the directors ... this is a very, very fluid situation, and one that I have never experienced before, where everyone really is so available to change when it means changing to better the show."

Ben McKenzie: "The feeling that I have while working on this show is most akin to doing a small, passionate indie movie or something. The feeling is not doing some sort of -- if you'll excuse the expression -- like corporate kind of piece of machinery. You're actually doing it because you want to do it and everybody else wants to do it. I know that may be sort of touchy-feely and actor-y, but that's the feeling that I get. We are operating with a relatively small crew, we're shooting out on location, we're going really fast. We have to go very fast but everybody is really coming knowing their jobs and wanting to excel in their jobs. So I think it's exhilarating because of that. And that, to me, makes it unique."

What can you tell us about this bonus footage we'll be seeing on TNT?
Chris Chulack: "It's about six and a half minutes -- there are a couple of wholly new scenes that were cut out of the pilot for time constraints which we put back in. And then a lot of it is kind of continuations of things that were truncated. It's amazing that six and a half minutes kind of rounds it out and makes it feel more like a little movie."

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