Word got out that I’m the guy who can make or break your television series

Southland

That Ray Romano, boy, I tell ya. He knows a good thing when he sees it … and by “it,” I mean “me.”

As you may recall, I sprinkled upon Ray’s “Men of a Certain Age” series premiere a wee bit o’ my special Daddy Scratches magic-pixie dust, and BOOM! Next thing you know, the show is a success, and Ray’s all “Well hello, season two!”

You’re welcome, Ray.

Anyway, it seems Ray was chatting me up to “SouthLAnd” star Michael Cudlitz … a conversation I’m pretty sure went a little something like this:

Ray Romano (everybody loves him)So, Michael, I hear TNT saved your “Southland” series from NBC’s guillotine of stupidity.

Michael CudlitzYeah, that’s about the size of it. Hey, by the way, Ray, I’ve been meaning to tell you: I love you, man.

Ray Romano (everybody loves him)Have you been drinking?

Michael CudlitzNo, man, I’m just sayin’: I love you. Seriously. And so does my family. My neighbors, too. You know, come to think of it, pretty much everybody loves you.

Ray Romano (everybody loves him)Yeah, I get that a lot. So anyway … about your show?

Michael CudlitzWhat about it?

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Well, if you really want to get it off the ground, I got this guy you should hook up with.

Michael CudlitzWho’s that?

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Daddy Scratches.

Michael CudlitzDaddy who?

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Scratches. Daddy Scratches.

Michael CudlitzSounds like a meth dealer.

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Oh, he’s a dealer, alright … but not of drugs, my friend. No, no: He’s a dealer of ratings. One namecheck from this dude, Michael, and you and your “SouthLAnd” amigos are lookin’ at smooth sailing. We’re talkin’ seven seasons, syndication deal … the whole nine.

Michael CudlitzGuy sounds pretty powerful. He’s in Hollywood?

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Nope. Works out of his house back east.

Michael CudlitzYer shittin’ me.

Ray Romano (everybody loves him)Zero shit, my friend. Guy’s, like, some kind of geeked-out hermit blogger. But I’m tellin’ you: One little mention from this guy, and you and your boys are lookin’ at a multi-season pick-up, no question.

Michael CudlitzWow. Well, thanks for the tip, Ray. And, seriously: I love you, man.

Ray Romano (everybody loves him) Yeah, yeah, enough with that already.

I’m betting that’s pretty much how it went. And that’s why Cudlitz presumably went to YouCast, the company promoting the show, and had them send me a sneak preview of the season-two premiere of “Southland,” which airs tonight (3/2) on TNT.

Now, here’s the deal: I get sent marketing pitches all the time … with even greater frequency since attending Mom 2.0. To date, I have written exactly one thing on this site as the result of a marketing pitch: my aforementioned “Men of a Certain Age” piece. Basically, it’s nothing I’d want to make a habit out of … but the fact of the matter is, I had been meaning to write about “Southland” for months, dating back to when, after watching — and thoroughly enjoying — the show’s first season, I learned that NBC was pulling the plug on yet another high-quality series.

For some reason, Wonder Woman and I have a tendency to latch onto shows that get spiked after a single season. I generally loathe television, but occasionally, a show comes along that demonstrates some true creativity and intelligence and is written with a certain degree of restraint and subtlety and nuance … you know, the antithesis of shit like “The Bachelor” and “Jersey Shore.” And, sadly, my research has revealed a strong correlation between the degree to which a new television show is aimed over the heads of mouth breathers and the likelihood that said show will be canceled.

So imagine my dismay when “SouthLAnd” got bumped in order for Jay “I Am An Enormous Douche Canoe” Leno to launch his doomed-to-fail-from-conception 10 p.m. variety show, a.k.a. “Prelude to a Backstabbing: How I Royally Screwed Conan O’Brien.”

And then, imagine my delight when I learned that TNT had rescued this totally kick-ass series.

My take on “SouthLAnd”: It’s a great show with a long story arc and thoughtful character development that requires a viewership whose attention span is longer than that possessed by the average crack-smoking hummingbird. If you’re willing to have a little patience, you’ll be rewarded for staying with it.

My favorite show of all time is “N.Y.P.D. Blue.” I won’t be so bold as to say that this still-in-its-infancy show is on par with that legendary program, but I will say that “Southland” is the best cop show I’ve seen since “Blue” left the airwaves, and that Cudlitz’s John Cooper has the potential to become the most interesting, multidimensional, hard-boiled-cop character on TV since Sipowicz, and that the actors in general are the best ensemble cast I’ve watched since “The West Wing” bowed out.

Needless to say, I’m psyched it’s back, and I highly recommend you watch tonight’s season premiere. (And, no, I wasn’t paid to say that; I was sent a memory stick with a 15-minute season-two sneak preview on it. Nothing less, nothing more. Which begs one to wonder just how spectacular an ass-lathering I’d have given the show if they threw in, say, some hot-buttered popcorn. Something for you marketers to consider.)

You can find more info on “SouthLAnd,” including full episodes from Season 1, here.

UPDATE: See? I told you Cudlitz knows I’ve got his back:

Cudlitz retweets Daddy Scratches

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16 Comments

  1. Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the first season of Southland and I was happy to hear that TNT was picking it up. I like that more cable televison is getting into original programming, Madmen, Closer etc. I think Southland is a perfect fit.

    The Daddy Scratches bump.

  2. Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I freaking LOVE this show!! So glad to hear that it’s being picked up on TNT…I WILL be watching tonight!! I completely agree with you about Cudlitz! Plus…he’s hot!! LMAO!! Have a great day!

  3. Cathy
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The DVR is set to record the premiere already and I’ve been catching up on all of the earlier shows. LOVE it! I’ve also been watching Men of a certain age and think it’s great. Thank goodness for the DVR! Love your blog!

  4. Irene
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Have you seen “Modern Family?” Wed. evenings, both at 8 and 9 p.m., ABC. Hilarious. Produced by Christopher Lloyd, very good, funny writing. My hubby and I are panicked it’ll get cancelled so maybe you could do a little publicity for it too! HA. Congratulations on being so incredibly influential. I had no idea!

  5. Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    –>”…mouth breathers…” made me laugh!
    .-= WebSavvyMom´s last blog ..Tech Tip: Creating an Add This Button =-.

  6. Lex
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I love this show! And while I am glad that TNT picked this show up, I am kind of pissed that I can’t get it in Canada!!

  7. Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Great Post – Made me laugh! I’m very glad that TNT picked up the series and am anxiously awaiting the premiere tonight!! And wow – your comment about Sipowicz…. I wonder if that means we get to see Cooper sans clothes! :)

  8. Eric B.
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    seriously, can Ray Romano do bad television? We love Modern Family as well. But my new obsession is comedy central’s Tosh.O!!

  9. Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    @Lex

    Southland will indeed be available in Canada starting March 15th. It was picked up by Super Channel and will air Mondays at 10pm starting with the pilot, continuing through all 13 episodes.

  10. Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Is it too late for me to start watching Southland and understand it? Of course, I missed the first season of 24, but I love that show and it didn’t seem to matter that I missed a first season.
    BTW…Like your taste in Television :)

  11. Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Don’t knock crack-smoking hummingbirds. You try to balance a pipe while beating your wings faster than any other bird. Then get back to me.

    (Don’t forget “Mad Men.” Oh, and “The Closer.” SO GOOD.)
    .-= Kate at And Then I Was a Mom´s last blog ..This weekend, only Beethoven will be allowed. =-.

  12. Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    best dialogue ever?! I think so!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Spolled brat =-.

  13. Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome. I’ll be sure to contact you when my favorite show gets cancelled. Except I only watch PBS Masterpiece and Househunters.
    .-= The Domestic Goddess´s last blog ..NUTS! =-.

  14. Posted March 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing I should check this show out?

  15. Posted March 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    The thing is, I loved that guy on the O.C., even though that was an insipid show otherwise. He’s definitely the next James Van Der Beek, by which I do not mean to doom him to a career of playing serial killers, but maybe a career playing cops? I have this show on my DVD list. Why do people who play criminals always end up being the best fake cops too?
    .-= Bridget Callahan´s last blog ..What Dreams Are Made Of: =-.

  16. Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Haven’t watched southland gonna try to find it, this summer was really bad for me, all the tv shows I was watching got cancelled.
    noticias tecnologia´s most recent blog post: E3 2011 Tráiler De Alice- Madness ReturnsMy Profile

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