LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC is delaying its return to "Southland" by four weeks.
Originally set to kick off its second season on September 25, the show's sophomore run will now start on October 23.
New episodes of perennial newsmagazine "Dateline NBC" will instead fill in the Friday, 9:00/8:00c hour during said stretch. A two-hour edition had already been slated to lead into the Friday premiere of "The Jay Leno Show" on September 18.
Industry speculation suggests the Peacock wants to use the additional time to help promote the show's shift from Thursday nights this past spring.
NBC entertainment chief Angela Bromstad revealed earlier this month "Southland" is undergoing a few "creative adjustments." "I think they tried to do too much in those six episodes," she said during the network's executive session at the TCA. "Instead of re-piloting the pilot and letting the audience get more familiar with these characters, they sort of -- you know, it became very serialized, and they were a large, large ensemble. So it's really going to focus on Regina King and Ben McKenzie and those two -- the two sets of officers and detectives and sort of focus on, you know, crimes and how they come together."
Executive producer John Wells later clarified Bromstad's comments during a press event sponsored by Warner Bros. Television. "What they had asked us to do when we were coming back was to make certain that the characters of the patrol officers and the detectives were appearing in every episode," he noted. "When we originally began planning the series, we had talked about doing episodes that would be solely about one group or one character, and they've asked us not to do that in the future or move towards that. They would like it to be an ensemble show, which has all of the characters in it on a weekly basis."
NBC ordered a second season of 13 episodes back in May.