When TNT airs the NBC drama Southland, will it also air the profanity unbleeped?
News today that cable channel TNT picked up Southland -- the edgy police drama NBC canceled before a single episode aired in its second season -- was no surprise (the move had been rumored for more than a week).
News that TNT would air the show at 10 p.m. -- essentially the timeslot where NBC would have aired the series if The Jay Leno Show wasn't sitting there -- was intriguing. If the show earns enough ratings to beat Leno, like FX's Sons of Anarchy did a while back, it will make the peacock network look even worse.
But the big question, now that TNT will air seven episodes from last season and six new unseen episodes, remains: What happens to the cursing?
Southland famously allowed its characters to speak the way people in a city tough as Los Angeles might talk in real life, bleeping the expletives. But TNT has a looser standard; early episodes for the Ray Romano dramedy Men of a Certain Age, features a fair amount of profanity unmasked, including a salty joke about a prostitute featuring a reference to the female anatomy which can also refer to a housecat.
A Twitter message from TNT's publicity department today -- sometimes the instant nature of social media is really cool -- maintained the channel hasn't decided what to do. "We’re still working on our plans," the tweet read. "TNT does air shows with a TV MA rating, which covers certain language for mature audiences."
The other open question, of course, is whether TNT will make new Southland episodes, particularly if they do draw an audience.Check out the bleeped profanity in this clip:
Click below to read the full release:
TNT has picked up the critically acclaimed series SOUTHLAND, closing a deal with Warner Bros. Television that will bring the drama from Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing) to the network in January. TNT has obtained exclusive rights to air all six episodes that have been shot for the second season, as well as the seven episodes from the series' first season. SOUTHLAND will air on TNT Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning with the first episode of the series on Jan. 12.
"This is a great win for fans of SOUTHLAND and a perfect opportunity to introduce the series to new viewers," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "It's also another outstanding example of how TNT has established itself as the go-to place for the best dramas on television."
"We are extremely pleased that TNT has acquired all 13 episodes of SOUTHLAND, giving devoted fans the opportunity to watch a show that they passionately support," said Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television.
"We're delighted that TNT has stepped forward to pick up SOUTHLAND. We are all extremely proud of the show," Wells said.
SOUTHLAND premiered on NBC in April to rave reviews. The series was called "tough-minded [and] suspenseful" by The New York Times, which also said, "SOUTHLAND is commendably stinting and cold, a series that doesn't aim to please, and is all the more pleasurable for it." The Hollywood Reporter called SOUTHLAND "exciting, smart, realistic and brilliant," while Daily Variety said, "[John] Wells and company have delivered a cop drama with its own racing pulse. The crisp execution ... has a decidedly elite cable feel."
In SOUTHLAND, John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz - A River Runs Through It) is a veteran cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie - The O.C.). Cooper attacks his job with a no-nonsense firmness that sometimes leaves Sherman wondering if he's really cut out to be a cop.
The series also follows Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King - Ray, Jerry Maguire), who spends her off-work hours serving as her mother's primary caregiver. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott - Boiler Room), is a father struggling with an unhappy marriage. Detective Daniel "Sal" Salinger (Michael McGrady - The Thin Red Line) oversees a unit of gang detectives, including Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro - Drive, Ugly Betty) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy - Alpha Dog). And patrol officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis - Crossing Jordan) is a single mom determined to make her mark as the first woman in the SWAT unit.