The gay gruff cop lauded in a recent report on gay characters on television has been axed by NBC.

In canceling the show, NBC executives said the second season of Southland was too dark for its new 9PM Thursday timeslot.

Advocates of greater gay-inclusion on television had lauded Southland's gay gruff cop, training officer John Cooper (played by Michael Cudlitz), as part of a broader trend that included non-stereotypical gay characters. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) recent report “Where We Are on TV” applauded the character for breaking new ground on television.

Cooper gave off a gay vibe from the show's first frame, but producers made us hold our breath until the season finale before pairing him up with another man. The season ended with the tough-as-nails cop sharing a tender moment with Caesar under a cascade of Memorial Day fireworks.

Masculine gay men can also be found this season on NBC's Trauma and the CW's Melrose Place. Trauma, a new drama about the lives of first responders, features openly gay paramedic Tyler Briggs (played by Kevin Rankin). And Victor Webster plays hunky and masculine Caleb Brewer on the CW's reboot of Melrose Place.

Last month, NBC announced it would postpone Southland's second season premiere, saying it would use the time to promote the show. But on Thursday, with 6 episodes already filmed for the new season, executives decided to take a pass on the show.

“I'm pissed,” Cudlitz told Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. “We had all the pre-season stuff, all the dinners and parties. They told us they loved and believed in the show. They said the [postponement] would be good for us.”

“It's kind of cheap,” he added.

Producers of the show say they'll shop Southland to another network.

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