TNT bringing back Southland, greenlights Perception

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TNT’s critically acclaimed drama series “Southland” will return for a fourth season. The cabler has ordered 10 new episodes of the gritty, realistic cop drama, which wrapped up its third season March 8. The show stars Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King and Ben McKenzie. The series has averaged 2.9 million viewers this season, up 6% compared to the second season.

“Southland has been acknowledged by many critics as one of the sharpest, most entertaining and most authentic dramas on television today,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “John Wells, Chris Chulack and their teams created a brilliant roller coaster ride this season, with countless riveting scenes and unforgettable character arcs. We are extremely proud to have Southland on TNT and to bring it back for a fourth season.”

TNT’s renewal of “Southland” marks the latest chapter for a series that found a new home on television’s premier drama network in 2010, after an outpouring of fans and critics campaigned to keep the series alive. The show has redefined the police drama genre with its raw, authentic look at the lives and work of Los Angeles detectives and beat cops. Shot on location in the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, “Southland” captures an environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life.

TNT has also given the green light to “Perception”, an original drama series starring Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Eric McCormack. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of the new series, which centers on a neuroscientist who works to solve complex criminal cases. Also starring are Rachael Leigh Cook (”She’s All That”), Arjay Smith (”The Day After Tomorrow”) and Kelly Rowan (”The O.C.”). “Perception” was created by executive producer KennethBiller (”Star Trek: Voyager”, ”Legend of the Seeker”) and co-executive producer Mike Sussman (”Star Trek: Voyager”), with McCormack serving as producer. Alan Poul (”Six Feet Under”) directed and served as executive producer for the pilot. Produced by ABC Studios, “Perception” is expected to premiere on TNT in 2012.

In “Perception”, McCormack plays Dr. Geoffrey Pierce, an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook and expertise to help the federal government crack difficult cases. Pierce’s intimate knowledge of human behavior and masterful understanding of the mind are matched by his equally odd and imaginative view of the world. Cook co-stars as FBI agent Kate Rossi, Pierce’s former student and the person responsible for recruiting him to work for the government. Smith plays Max Lewicki, Pierce’s teaching assistant who has spent nine years at college. Rowan is Natalie Vincent, Pierce’s best friend and every bit his intellectual equal.

”When we saw the pilot for “Perception”, it confirmed what we thought from the first pitch: It’s a perfect fit for TNT’s original series lineup,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “With its blend of intensity, emotion, humor, smart storytelling, sharp direction and a buzz-worthy performance from Eric McCormack, Perception is a hugely entertaining show we believe TNT viewers will love.”