The Los Angeles-based crime drama Southland returns for a third season on Tuesday, January 4.

Southland originally premiered on NBC, but the network axed the series right before the start of its second season. Cabler TNT picked up the series and ordered 10 more episodes to be broadcast in the new year.

Advocates of greater gay-inclusion on television had lauded Michael Cudlitz's role on the show as part of a broader trend that includes non-stereotypical gay characters.

Tough-as-nails training officer John Cooper is about as non-stereotypical as it gets. The divorced cop has a soft spot for family but he's not taking any crap from the street thugs he wrangles with everyday.

On the show, Cooper gave off a gay vibe from the show's premiere, but producers made us hold our breath until the show's first season finale before pairing him up with another man. Season 2 picked up after Cooper shared a tender moment with Caesar under a cascade of Memorial Day fireworks, and ended with Cooper's sexual orientation being questioned by one of his colleagues.