When Southland star Ben McKenzie heard that NBC was canceling his critically acclaimed TV drama to make room for 5 nights of Jay Leno in primetime, he didn’t mince words. "My reaction was ‘WTF OMG?’ And I said it that way," McKenzie tells Uinterview.com exclusively. "I honestly thought someone was kidding. I didn’t understand. I thought it was an elaborate gag or something because why would you renew a show, order 13 episodes, give it a time slot, wait until two weeks before it was about to premiere and then cancel it? Very peculiar. The drama behind the scenes has been bizarre and never-ending. No matter what we did, we needed to bear the brunt of a lot of changes in corporate strategy at NBC."

Now that Leno’s primetime show has been canceled and Southland has been picked up by TNT, McKenzie is feeling vindicated. "Replacing five scripted shows with one talk show, thousands of people or so lost their jobs – actors, writers, directors, crew members," he says. And that’s a bad thing for the artistic community, and I feel that as a member of that community that I can say that. It’s not gloating when it doesn’t work out. I’m relieved that it didn’t work out in a way for the sake of the community of which I am a member, that now [they’re] buying all of these pilots, they are going to put a lot more scripted hours back in the 11pm hour and that means more artists have their jobs. I think that’s a good thing." –ERIK MEERS

For full interview, go to the U Q&A section, https://www.uintervew.com/uqa.

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