NBC Pushes ‘Southland’ Return to October

NBC will launch its fall schedule with one less scripted series.


The network has decided to push back the sophomore season premiere of "Southland," the critically admired John Wells drama that debuted last spring. Instead of launching during premiere week, the series will now return on Friday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m., an NBC spokeswoman confirmed.


It’s understood NBC made the call in order to give "Southland" a better shot at breaking through in what’s shaping up to be a crowded timeslot. Former NBC series "Medium" also airs Fridays at 9, along with ABC’s "Ugly Betty" and Fox’s "Dollhouse."


The move also gives NBC’s marketing team one less series to launch in the next month. Most of the network’s creative energies have been focusing on getting viewers to "The Jay Leno Show" and, to a lesser extent, "Mercy," "Trauma" and "Community."


NBC will fill the gap left by the "Southland" move by airing episodes of "Dateline" in the 9 p.m. Friday hour.