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NBC ends 'Southland'

October 10, 2009|Joe Flint; Denise Martin

NBC has pulled the plug on John Wells' "Southland."

The move comes just two weeks before the gritty cop drama was set to premiere in its new Friday at 9 p.m. time period. Now, in its place, NBC will schedule the less expensive news magazine "Dateline NBC."

"I am disappointed that NBC no longer has the time periods available to support the kind of critically acclaimed series that was for so many years the hallmark of their success," said "Southland" executive producer Wells, whose previous credits include "ER" and "The West Wing."

Wells added that he would shop the show, which starred Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King, to another network.

NBC will have to cough up some cash to producer Warner Bros. Television and Wells' production company, which had already received a 13-episode order for Season 2. Producers were busy wrapping production on Episode 6 when NBC canceled the show.

The network was paying about $1.5 million per episode in license fees for the show, and it will eat the costs of the finished episodes as well as the cost of shutting down the production, people familiar with the situation said.

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Joe Flint

and Denise Martin

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