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'Southland' Star Michael Cudlitz Says No S.O.S. Needed -- Just Bring a Friend!

by Maggie Furlong, posted Mar 7th 2011 9:00AM
I'm not trying to be a TV hypochondriac, but the impending season finale of 'Southland' is making me anxious.

Hear me out: I've been a huge fan and an avid supporter of the show since the beginning. And when NBC cancelled it after airing only one short season, pulling the plug as they were in the middle of shooting season 2, I was quick to help rally to keep the show alive, along with many loyal fans and critics.

'Southland'

We've been along for the ride through ups and downs and some serious character lowpoints -- especially this season, which was a darker turn for the series. So naturally, I want another season for more time with the extremely talented cast, but also for some much-needed character redemption.

My concern comes from the fact that TNT, the network that stepped in when NBC opted out, has yet to announce whether or not they're picking up the show for another season, even though this season's finale is Tuesday.

When we reached out to TNT for comment, this was the response from a network spokesperson:
"We'll be making our programming selections and announcements over the next few weeks."

But it's not really that horrible -- that was almost their exact response when season 2 was coming to a close and they had to decide whether or not to renew. Another reason to stop worrying? The ratings have been consistent and the cast seems confident they'll get a pickup.

Michael Cudlitz, 'Southland'I caught up with star Michael Cudlitz -- who's known for being outspoken and a fierce defender of the show, on Twitter and everywhere else -- to find out if they've heard anything more, and why you won't see him re-tweeting any Save 'Southland' petitions anytime soon.

He also to gave me a little tease of the season finale (Tues., March 8, 10PM ET on TNT), which was written by executive producer John Wells and directed by EP Chris Chulack, who's helmed some of the series' strongest episodes.

No spoilers, fans, I promise, but I can tell you what won't be in the finale: Cudlitz promises there are no 'Sopranos'-style finale cliffhangers. Phew! Keep reading to hear more highlights from our chat ...

Do fans need to start another S.O.S. (Save Our 'Southland')?
Cudlitz: "My opinion is it's not gonna need to be saved. I just think they [TNT] are really, really behind it. The numbers are ... they're not great, but they're strong. I think the most important thing we need to do now is make some kind of dent in some way in the next awards shows, to bring it more in the public eye."

Like: Michael Cudlitz, Emmy nominee?
"No, for the show! For TNT, for it to really makes sense for it to be the jewel in their crown ... to be their 'Mad Men,' to be their 'Sopranos' -- a show that's not necessarily the highest watched show across the boards, but is critically acclaimed and it does well in the awards. That brings press, and then brings awareness to people and to the network that's not usually there. That's the next step I think."

Has he heard any rumblings from the network, one way or the other?
"They have not tilted their hand at all. They have said that they're very happy -- they're extremely happy with the episodes. We've gotten calls, Sam Linsky [Senior VP of Programming at TNT and TBS] has been at our read-throughs and stuff. They're ecstatic with the show itself. From an artistic production standpoint, they couldn't be happier. The DVR numbers are really, really high -- they're surprised every week by them, they've said. But other than that, there's been no real indication."
Ben McKenzie & Michael Cudlitz, 'Southland'
What his gut is telling him:
"It's been extremely positive, and we've made the show we wanted to make. Probably the biggest decision -- and this is my opinion -- will be how many episodes they want to pick up."

On how long he (and presumably, the other actors) are under contract with TNT:
"They have until ... I believe it's a mid-June date."

On working for TNT:
"They're cable. They're working outside the box a little bit. And thank god or we wouldn't be here. [Laughs]"

A spoiler-free tease of the season finale:
"It's a very satisfying episode, a very satisfying season finale. There's not some sort of contrived cliffhanger. Everything moves forward just as it has before ... you know, logical steps forward. Everybody is at a point of change in their life, and in their place in the department. Everybody. You'll be surprised at some stuff. I would say it's almost jaw-dropping, but it's realistic. It's not like a car going over a cliff, then we go to black. [Laughs] Or five of the regulars standing in a room with guns pointed at each other, lights go off and we hear four gunshots. [Laughs] It's not that kind of a season finale. It's what you'd expect from us, and everything you've been waiting for is coming to a head. It'll be very, very satisfying for, I think, everybody."

Shawn Hatosy & Kevin Alejandro, 'Southland'After this dark season, will the finale reset things for next season?
"Absolutely. There's a lot of 'Oh, thank god!' and a lot of 'It's about time!' I think it's by far our best produced episode."

Put your petitions down people!
"People have started sending petitions and some people signed it -- I refused to re-post it because I think that's buying into the negative before we have to. Go grab a friend and have them watch. Put it on the DVR. That's what I'd say, for everyone to focus their energy on: bring a viewer, tell a friend."

So what do you say: Will you watch Tuesday's season finale? Do you want to see another season of 'Southland'? Sound off in the comments ...


Follow Maggie on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl

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10 Comments

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d.sara08@yahoo.com

Finale was great, but it definitely left me hanging so I need another season!!! haha, its funny that in the pic ^, Ben McKenzie is holding the pistol wrong.

March 11 2011 at 1:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Potter

I havent missed an episode. Bring it back TNT!

March 09 2011 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
timbergrove@mac.com

I think this is the best show on TV!!!!

March 08 2011 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ededsearch

BRING THIS PUPPY BACK TNT!! IT'S THE BEST SERIOUS SHOW ON TV RIGHT NOW.

March 07 2011 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adelman Family

I love SouthLAnd! From the casting and the storylines, it is in my opinion
the best show on television and I sincerely hope it is renewed.

March 07 2011 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
annlnn62

fantastic show, characters seem like real people, not some face-lifted, steroid people, into their own egos.. amybe a longer season might wash out or milk down some story lines..waiting on season 2 dvd release

March 07 2011 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sara

This show really is like fine wine: every season is stronger than the last and that's no mean feat. The first and second ones were so great, but this third one has been like a punch in the gut. I am seriously hoping for a long life for Southland.

March 07 2011 at 12:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jeff Bergstrom

I hope that it gets renewed, and, not to be greedy, but for a longer season. Every season has been so short.

March 07 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
echo

Seriously, this is one of the best shows on television right now. I'm so happy to read all the positive press in general and specifically about Southland getting a fourth season. I hope they get some Emmy love — everyone who works on Southland deserves it!

March 07 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dan the Great

Easily one of the best shows on TV. I would be devastated if it was not picked up for another season. Thank goodness NBC dumped it because it has been even better on TNT. Can't wait for the season finale!

March 07 2011 at 10:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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