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Southland: See It Before It Airs on TV

April 3rd, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

This week, Hulu is offering you a chance to see the pilot episode of NBC’s new police drama, Southland, one week before it airs on television. Unlike other cop shows currently on the air, though, Southland isn’t another procedural. Instead, executive producer John Wells (ER) delves into the work and personal lives of the men and women on the Los Angeles police force.

In the pilot, Ben McKenzie, best known for his role as Ryan Atwood on The O.C., stars as a rookie cop on his first day on the job. “I wasn’t necessarily looking to get back into TV after doing The O.C., but I really fell in love with the pilot,” he said. “The writing is very intricate; the dialogue is somewhat sparse, but there’s always a lot going on underneath. [Executive Producer] Ann Biderman has a great feel for character.”

Michael Cudlitz (Band of Brothers), Regina King (Ray) and Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog) join McKenzie on the ensemble cast. “I couldn’t dream of a better cast for this show,” McKenzie said. “Everyone is an actor. There are no gimmicky TV casting choices; everyone is absolutely right for the part. I have the briefest resumé of anyone on the cast, but everyone here has an extensive resumé.”

To prepare for life on the force, the actors went through two weeks of police boot camp, where the show’s ex-LAPD technical advisor trained them on the rigors of the job. They went on as many cop ride-alongs as they wanted, and the police extras you see in any scene are real cops. McKenzie credits the training with teaching him that “you don’t have pretend to be the macho cowboy stereotype” to play a cop because they come in a broad range of personalities, body types, and education levels.

Southland will air on NBC on Thursday, April 9 at 10 p.m.; the pilot will continue to be available on Hulu following its TV debut. The sneak peak has already garnered mostly favorable reviews from other users; tune in and share your thoughts with the rest of Hulu with a review or on our discussion boards.

Rebecca (),

Last comment: Apr 13th 2009 3 Comments
  • Kim says:

    Personally, I wanted to turn it off after five minutes when I was offended by the term “nuts” and the bleeping of cuss words (what? are we 12 years old?). If you know you cannot use the words on television, don’t…this show is scripted, not reality TV, which I think most of us are sick of that too..no shock factors left there either. Not everyone in the world thinks that using profanity gets your point across any better. I really tried to give it a chance. Extremely distasteful show and I will NOT watch it again.

  • Ron says:

    LA cop shows suck! Bring back Macky and the Shield.

  • Dani says:

    Well i live in Cananda and it woun’t let me see this i subscribe to this site and i am unable to see any thing. WHY?