The network said it has canceled the series, even though six episodes were filmed for the new season. The season debut had been scheduled for later this month, but the Friday night series will be replaced by "Dateline NBC."
NBC won't comment on financial details. But a drama like "Southland" is considered far more expensive than a news program like "Dateline NBC." The series was also championed by former NBC entertainment chief Ben Silverman, who has since been replaced.
It's an ominous sign for the network, which has had trouble developing hits for years. The jury is still out on its biggest innovation of this fall, a Jay Leno show every night in prime-time.
John Wells, the former "ER" producer and executive producer of "Southland," said he'll try to sell it to another network.
"I'm disappointed that NBC no longer has the time periods available to support the kind of critically acclaimed series that were for so many years a hallmark of their success," he said.