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
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.
Gay Entertainment Report is a feature
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