Thursday, December 9, 2010

Southland Returns to TNT January 4, 2011, All The Details Here!

One of my favorite crime dramas, “Southland”, will return to TNT on January 4, 2011. The series has a great cast and they bring the exciting stories to life. Here’s all the information you could possibly want to know about the new season, including episode synopses, character bios, cast bios, and lots more. I am sure there will be advance photos published soon and if/when they are made available, I’ll post them.

TNT Press Release:

TNT Returns to the Tough Streets of LA for Third Season of
Acclaimed Drama Series SOUTHLAND, Beginning Tuesday, Jan.

TNT’s critically acclaimed drama series SOUTHLAND takes viewers directly to the streets of LA to present an intensely personal, first-person look at cops and detectives on the beat. The extraordinary series from Warner Bros. Television and Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing) is now set to return for its third season. SOUTHLAND, which stars Michael Cudlitz (Band of Brothers, A River Runs Through It), Shawn Hatosy (Dexter, Public Enemies), Regina King (Ray, Jerry Maguire) and Ben McKenzie (The O.C.), is slated to premiere on TNT Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).

SOUTHLAND defied the odds after its first season when an outpouring of support from fans resulted in the series finding a new home on television’s premier drama network. The series 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 a realistic, natural environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life.

In SOUTHLAND, King stars as Detective Lydia Adams, who seems to make every case personal. Adams has gone through several partners recently, with her most recent being Detective Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago – My Family, American Family), a tough, take-charge investigator whose style often conflicts with Lydia.

Officer John Cooper (Cudlitz) is a seasoned cop who is starting to show some cracks. His partner, Officer Ben Sherman (McKenzie) came to him as a rookie but is now growing up fast on the force. John has taught Ben much of what he knows about how to handle himself on the street, but Ben’s growing concern over his partner’s addiction to prescription pain killers threatens to drive a wedge between them.

Detective Sammy Bryant (Hatosy) is part of the LAPD’s gang task force with his partner, Detective Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro – True Blood, Weeds). Sammy frequently faces issues with his wife, a photographer with past drug problems. Nate, an Army vet, cares deeply about his kids, including a daughter who only recently found out he was her father.

In addition to Alejandro and Gago, SOUTHLAND’s outstanding returning ensemble cast includes: Arija Bareikis (Crossing Jordan) as Officer Chickie Brown, and C. Thomas Howell (TNT’s Gettysburg) as her recovering-alcoholic partner, Officer Billy Dewey; Michael McGrady (The Thin Red Line, Day Break) as Detective Daniel Salinger, the head of the gang division; and Tom Everett Scott (Boiler Room, ER, TNT’s Saved) as Russell Clarke, Lydia’s former partner who is now working a desk job after being shot.

This season on SOUTHLAND, Lydia has difficulty adjusting to her mother’s return home from Europe with a new boyfriend in tow. The relationship forces Lydia to consider her own life and the fact that remains a single woman. Meanwhile, Ben continues to come into his own as a cop, but he feels increasing pressure to intervene in John’s addiction. And Sammy and his wife face a major life change that could have devastating consequences for their marriage.

SOUTHLAND is from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Created by Emmy® winner Ann Biderman (NYPD Blue, Public Enemies), the series is executive-produced by Emmy winners Christopher Chulack (ER, Third Watch) and Wells. Chulack is also a primary director of the series.

About TNT
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula; and Southland, from Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and Numb3rs; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.


Episode Synopses

“Let It Snow” – Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) endures a stressful adjustment period with her new partner, Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago), as they investigate the disappearance of an illegal immigrant. Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott), Lydia’s former partner, adjusts to a new desk job on the force. Meanwhile, Detectives Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) and Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) look for the killer of two gangbangers and Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) catches the eye of an attractive woman during a traffic stop, while his partner, John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), struggles with increasing pain.

Directed by Christopher Chulack
Written by John Wells

“Punching Water” – Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Sammy and Nate feel threatened when Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger (Michael McGrady) calls in Lydia and Josie to help them solve a series of gang murders. John gets saddled with Officer Billy Dewey (C. Thomas Howell) in order to keep an eye on him after his stint in rehab. And Ben rides with Officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis), who quizzes him about his relationship with a woman obsessed with cops.

Directed by Christopher Culack
Written by Cheo Hodari Coker

“Discretion” – Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Ben seeks revenge when his mother’s rapist is released from prison. Lydia and Josie bump heads over a chainsaw, as Sammy deals with his wife’s betrayal.

Directed by Nelson McCormick
Written by Jonathan Lisco

“Code Four” – Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
John teaches Ben several key tips to being a police officer, including the proper ways to make a death notification and arrest a suspected drug user. Sammy stays with Nate’s family while he sorts out how his marital problems. Lydia and Josie handle a drug-related murder case with an unorthodox suspect.

Directed by Felix Alcala
Written by Will Rokos

“The Winds” – Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Lydia and Josie catch a complicated rape case on the Westside. John bonds with an abandoned teenager while also having to deal with testifying at his own father’s parole hearing.

Directed by Nelson McCormick
Written by Heather Zuhlke

“Cop or Not” – Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
While working a celebrity murder, Lydia discovers the pros and cons of being in the spotlight. Sammy leaves the confines of the office to go out on patrol. John and Ben chafe with frustration over a tedious security detail.

Directed by J. Michael Muro
Written by Cheo Hodari Coker

“Sideways” – Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Lydia gets suspended from duty and bonds with an injured witness. A high-speed chase haunts Chickie, and John tries to clean up a neighborhood.

Directed by Allison Anders
Written by Jonathan Lisco

“Fixing a Hole” – Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Sammy seeks answers in the desert. Lydia and Josie babysit an important alcoholic witness before a murder trial. And John and Ben go against procedure to help a child in need.

Directed by Christopher Chulack
Story by Will Rokos
Screenplay by Cheo Hodari Coker


The Characters

The Homicide Detectives

Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) is smart and perceptive, possessing excellent investigative instincts. Working in the homicide division after previously spending two years in the gang unit, she is one of the sharpest detectives around, but she hasn’t had much luck keeping a partner after Detective Russell Clarke was shot. She hasn’t been successful in finding or keeping a boyfriend, either. With Lydia’s mother, who has been spending time in Paris, returning soon, Lydia’s social life will only be further dampened.

Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) previously worked the homicide beat with Detective Lydia Adams, but after being shot by a neighbor, he switched to a desk job. Although he feels ready to return to the job, and Lydia definitely wants him back, his psyche may have other ideas. On the home front, Russell’s life is a shambles. After sparking up a relationship with a writing teacher, his already strained relationship with his wife was pushed to the breaking point.

Detective Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago) is a tough, take-charge investigator and the latest detective partnered with Lydia, who continues to hope for Russell’s return to the job. Once shot in the line of duty, Josie now seems utterly fearless on the job. She also brings a Hispanic perspective to the job, providing some teachable moments for Lydia.

The Gang Squad

Detective Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) works on the LAPD’s gang unit, partnering with Detective Sammy Bryant. He served in the Army where he met his wife. He cares deeply about his kids and helps run the police department’s Explorer Program. Last year, his daughter – who had been brought up to believe she was his sister – learned the truth about their relationship.

Detective Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) partners with Nate Moretta in the LAPD’s gang unit. Although a stoner in his younger days, he has completely turned his life around. Extremely friendly, he establishes a good rapport with witnesses he’s interviewing. Unfortunately, his home life is often strained because his wife continues to use drugs and has a flair for the dramatic. This season, his marriage will be pushed to the breaking point.

Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger (Michael McGrady) is a senior member of the gang unit. A tough detective with a biting sense of humor, Sal’s marriage is on the skids after his wife learned about his affair with a local newswoman. Sal’s relationship with his teenage daughter is strained, as well, primarily because he both over-protects and spoils her.

The Patrol Officers

Officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) is determined to be as tough as any of her male colleagues by becoming the first female admitted into the elite SWAT unit. She partners with Officer Dewey Dudek, whose abrasive and inappropriate manner finally pushed her to report him, resulting in his suspension from the force. Although insecure and tentative as an officer, Chickie ultimately proved her worth by taking down a serial rapist terrorizing the canyon in last season’s finale.

Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) is a seasoned patrol cop who now serves as a training officer to Officer Ben Sherman. He comes across as jaded and unmoved by anything he sees on the streets, but when he has the opportunity to take down a bad guy, he gets a glint in his eye. Suffering severe back pain from various work-related injuries, Cooper is becoming increasingly dependent upon painkillers to function. John is very guarded about his private life.

Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) is a rookie cop partnered with Officer John Cooper. Ben comes from a wealthy family, but he has little love for his father, a defense attorney who walked out on Ben’s mother. Ben has what it takes to be a good officer, but he still has a lot to learn. He also tends to let his heart interfere with his judgment, becoming emotionally attached to the people he encounters.

Officer Dewey Dudek (C. Thomas Howell) has spent years being a sorry excuse for an officer. Full of himself, chauvinistic and deliberately offensive, he has made life miserable for his partner, Officer Chickie Brown. When she finally turned him in for his behavior, he went ballistic and nearly killed her by wrecking their police car. Now out of rehab, he is a changed man, a 12-step evangelist who some think may be worse than the old Dewey.

Cast Bios
(in alphabetical order)

Kevin Alejandro
Nate Moretta

Kevin Alejandro has become one of Hollywood's standout new faces. In addition to his work on SOUTHLAND, he stars in the HBO series True Blood, returning for its fourth season in 2011. He also has a recurring role on NBC’s Parenthood.

Alejandro recently starred in the CBS drama Shark, alongside James Woods. He is also known from ABC's hit series Ugly Betty. He was also a series regular in the FOX drama Drive and Showtime's Sleeper Cell: American Terror.

Alejandro’s additional television credits include recurring roles on Weeds and the FX original series Sons of Anarchy, as well as guest starring roles on Heroes, Burn Notice, The Mentalist, Law and Order: SVU, Big Love, CSI: Miami, 24, Alias, Without a Trace and CSI: NY, among many others.

Alejandro has also appeared in various independent and major feature films, including Strange Wilderness, opposite Steve Zahn; Crossing Over with Harrison Ford; and the upcoming western The Legend of Hell’s Gate. He also just wrapped Red State for Kevin Smith.

Alejandro studied theatre at the University of Texas and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Arija Bareikis
Chickie Brown

Arija Bareikis has enjoyed working in all performance mediums throughout her career. She has co-starred in numerous films, including Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, directed by Sidney Lumet; Woody Allen’s Melinda And Melinda; Snow Falling on Cedars and No Reservations, both directed by Scott Hicks; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; and The Myth of Fingerprints, among others.

On television, she was a series regular on American Embassy and she has guest-starred and played recurring roles on Grey’s Anatomy, Crossing Jordan, Oz, Law & Order and the pilot episode of Without A Trace. She also starred in the critically acclaimed Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie A Painted House.

Bareikis has amassed an impressive list of credits in theaters all over New York City and beyond, including at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Edge Theater Company and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. On Broadway, she created the role of Sunny in the Tony-winning play The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Bareikis has performed in many productions at Bay Street Theatre and The Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as in an abundance of Shakespeare plays.

A graduate of Stanford University, Bareikis lives in New York City with two rescued Labrador retriever mutts and a foundling cat.

Michael Cudlitz
John Cooper

Hailing from the East Coast, Michael Cudlitz graduated from the California Institute of the Arts Theatre program and has established himself as a versatile and prolific character actor in both television and film. Although his first love is the stage, Cudlitz found early success working in front of the camera.

Cudlitz has appeared in more than 20 films, including A River Runs Through It, Grosse Point Blank, and The Negotiator. A few of his notable television credits include roles on Standoff, Lost, Prison Break, Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck, 24 and all three CSI series and the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Michael’s most recent film credits include the sci-fi thriller Surrogates, with Bruce Willis; and Tenure, a comedy with Luke Wilson. Michael will next be seen in the psychological-thriller The Grief Tourist with Melanie Griffith, a film in which Michael also served as producer.

Cudlitz currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and twin boys.

Jenny Gago
Detective Josie Ochoa

Jenny Gago is one of Hollywood's most versatile and respected Latina actresses. Her powerful portrayal of the matriarch Maria Sanchez in Gregory Nava's hit film My Family was critically acclaimed. Gago has starred in many feature films, including Coach Carter, The Tie That Binds, Bound by Honor, Under Fire and Nurse Betty. She was honored with the Golden Eagle Award for her performance as Garduna in the film Old Gringo.

Gago’s television films include Grand Avenue, Nowhere to Hide and Sweet 15. She has also had regular roles on such series as DEA, Dangerous Minds, Alien Nation and Freddie. Gago was a member of the esteemed cast of the Golden Globe-nominated miniseries American Family on PBS. Some of her more recent guest-starring roles include Crossing Jordan, 24, The West Wing, The Agency, Alias, Jack& Bobby, Without a Trace and Lost.

After earning her degree in theater arts from UCLA, Gago was then personally awarded a scholarship by Lee Strasberg to attend his Institute. In addition to honors from such prestigious organizations as the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the Image Awards, the National Councilof La Raza, the TELACU Education Foundation, The Hispanic Women's Networkof Texas, the BRAVO Awards and the Alma Awards, Gago has also received awards from the County of Los Angeles and El Centro. The U.S. House of Representatives recently acknowledged her for "her talents and portrayal of Latino characters in the film and television industry, as well as her dedication and drive to pursue nontraditional roles to pave the way for other Latinos.”

Gago's passion is her 13-year-old son, Sean. She loves family, friends, music and dancing (especially salsa). She volunteers regularly in schools to support the importance of education.

Shawn Hatosy
Sammy Bryant

One of the most versatile actors of his generation, Shawn Hatosy continues to expand upon his already impressive resume by starring in a succession of buzz-worthy projects. He most recently appeared such films as Public Enemies, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans and Factory Girl. In addition to his work on SOUTHLAND, Hatosy has a recurring role on the series Dexter.

Hatosy has more than two dozen feature film credits, including John Q, Alpha Dog, The Faculty, Anywhere But Here, In & Out, The Cooler, Outside Providence and Simpatico. His television work includes starring as John McCain in A&E’s Faith of My Fathers. He also starred in Frank Pierson’s Golden Globe-nominated Showtime drama Soldier’s Girl and the Emmy-nominated Witness Protection for HBO. His many guest appearances include such series as Numb3rs, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Streets, My Name is Earl, Felicity and Six Feet Under.

Hatosy is equally adept at performing in front of a live audience. In his most recent stage credit, he landed the coveted role opposite Al Pacino in Lyle Kessler’s Orphans at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. Hatosy also received accolades for his stage debut as the title role in the La Jolla Playhouse production of The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. Off-Broadway, he starred opposite Anna Paquin in the Paul Weitz comedy Roulette.

Originally from Frederick, Md., Hatosy currently resides in Los Angeles.

C. Thomas Howell
Officer Dewey

The son of a professional bullrider-turned-stuntman, C. Thomas Howell started working in the film industry at the age of 7. In 1981, he was cast as Tyler in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Shortly thereafter, he nabbed the lead in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic The Outsiders, which made him a household name virtually overnight.

Earmarked as one of the most promising young actors of the 1980s, Howell’s career soon skyrocketed with roles in films such as the Cold War invasion drama Red Dawn, the classic psychological thriller The Hitcher and the hilarious but controversial college farce Soul Man. Since then, Howell has been in consistent demand with filmmakers for the last 25 years, appearing in favorites such as That Night, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals and Hidalgo.

Behind the camera, Howell has directed such films as The Big Fall, Pure Danger and Hourglass, the latter he also co-wrote with longtime friend Darren Dalton. In addition to his film and television career, Howell is an accomplished team roper and spends as much time as possible with his wife Sylvie and their three children.

Regina King
Detective Lydia Adams

Thanks to roles in a number of prominent films, Regina King’s distinguished talents have not gone unnoticed by Hollywood. In addition to her work on SOUTHLAND, the skilled actress was recently seen as the female lead role opposite Forest Whitaker in the comedy feature Our Family Wedding. Before that, she starred in the Lifetime original movie Living Proof, executive-produced by RenĂ©e Zellweger and starring opposite Harry Connick, Jr. She had previously starred in Paramount Vantage’s comedy Year of the Dog, opposite Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Peter Sarsgaard and John C. Reilly, and the Screen Gems’ holiday-film This Christmas, opposite Mekhi Phifer and Loretta Devine.

King also starred in the comedy Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and voiced the character Kreela in the animated film Ant Bully. Prior to that, she appeared in the Oscar®-nominated film Ray. King’s other feature credits include A Cinderella Story, Daddy Day Care and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, King made her television debut on the hit sitcom 227. After five seasons, she made the leap to the silver screen with a role in Boyz n the Hood and later starred in Poetic Justice and Higher Learning. King has always been consistent in showing her dynamic range, bouncing effortlessly from dramatic material to comedic performances, as proven in the hit film Friday and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

But if there was a definite turning point in her career, it came in 1997 with her memorable role as Cuba Gooding Jr.’s wife, Marci, in the blockbuster film Jerry Maguire. This led to starring roles in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the hit action-thriller Enemy of the State, the family-adventure Mighty Joe Young, and the comedy Down to Earth.

King found her way back to the small screen in 2000 with a role in the acclaimed If These Walls Could Talk 2 and the comedy Leap of Faith. She currently provided the voices of Huey and Riley on the animated series The Boondocks. King currently lives in Los Angeles with her son.

Michael McGrady
Daniel “Sal” Salinger

Michael McGrady has appeared in numerous roles on television and film, including a series regular role opposite Taye Diggs in Day Break and recurring parts in 24, CSI: Miami and The Riches. His countless guest appearances include TNT’s Leverage, Prison Break, The Mentalist, Big Love and Bones. His film credits include The Deep End of the Ocean, The Thin Red Line, The Babe and Wyatt Earp.

Married to fitness trainer Ilka, whom he met while filming on location in Germany, McGrady is the proud father of three children and coaches his son’s soccer, football and baseball teams. He is also an accomplished fine artist whose work is currently represented in several galleries across the country.

Ben McKenzie
Ben Sherman

Ben McKenzie was born and raised in Texas. Following his graduation from the University of Virginia, where he was a foreign affairs and economics major, he moved to New York to pursue acting.

While in New York, McKenzie appeared off-Broadway in Life is a Dream at the Soho Rep. Additionally, he performed in numerous productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, including Street Scene and The Blue Bird, as well as the University of Virginia in Measure for Measure and Zoo Story. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he landed the lead role on The O.C.

In addition to starring in the critically acclaimed independent ensemble drama Junebug, McKenzie has also starred opposite Al Pacino in the thriller 88 Minutes and received praise for his solo turn in the independent film Johnny Got His Gun, based on a novel by Dalton Trumbo. McKenzie recently starred in The Glass Menagerie at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Tom Everett Scott
Detective Russell Clarke
Tom Everett Scott’s numerous television credits include roles on such series as TNT’s Saved, Law & Order, Cashmere Mafia, Philly, The Street and Grace Under Fire. He was also featured in the television movie Surrender, Dorothy, opposite Diane Keaton and Chris Pine.

On the big screen, Scott’s breakout role came in 1996, when he got the lead as drummer Guy Patterson in Tom Hanks’s That Thing You Do! From there, he went on to appear in various films, including Dead Man on Campus, Boiler Room and Because I Said So, opposite Mandy Moore. Scott was most recently seen in Race to Witch Mountain, opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

In addition to television and film, Scott has starred on Broadway in The Little Dog Laughed and in the off-Broadway play Touch. He also appeared at the L.A. Ahmanson Theatre stage production of Dead End in 2005.

Scott was raised in East Bridgewater, Mass. Following his graduation from Syracuse University, where he was a drama major, he moved to New York City to pursue acting. With three friends, he founded the aTheaterco theater company.

Currently, Scott lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.


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