Southland Will Walk Another Beat

... TNT has renewed cop drama Southland for a fourth season, granting 10 more episodes to the show that was left for dead just a few years ago. It's a great win for the critically acclaimed show, which TNT rescued from the scrapyard after NBC canceled it back in 2009. Southland always belonged on cable anyway. [TV Guide]

... Could Mad Men be pushed back to 2012? That's what Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall is pondering. The award-winning show has been stalled by the obstacle known as "contract negotiations," with AMC and creator Matthew Weiner closing in on a deal to bring the show back for two more seasons. But with Mad Men used to a summer launch and April quickly approaching, the time to get this show back on the air in time is quickly running out. Will the show be rushed for a summer launch and be even more boring than it already was? Kidding! I'm kidding! (I'm not kidding.) [Hitfix]

... Greedy NFL owners can't reach an agreement with the league's players, and there's one victim who will suffer the most: HBO! If there is no NFL season next year, HBO will lose out on another edition of Hard Knocks, its sports documentary that follows one team through training camp as players prepare for the grueling season. At the top of the list of teams rumored to be in the running for next year's edition are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an exciting team led by rookie quarterback and savior of my fantasy team, Josh Freeman. If there is no NFL season, I think HBO should just follow football fans around on Sunday afternoons while they cry into their bowl of Cheetos. [NBC Sports]

... IFC has renewed Onion News Network for another season, meaning the faux-news show is the network's third original series to earn a second season out of IFC's first big jaunt into original programming. Previously renewed were Portlandia and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. [TV Guide]

... ABC's Dancing With the Stars returned to fantastic ratings last night, taking advantage of CBS repeats and sucking up 22.3 million viewers and a 5.1 rating. Yes, 22.3 million people** stopped what they were doing to watch Kirstie Alley dance. (**Nielsen Media Ratings are about as accurate as a blind sniper and could be off by as much as 22.3 million people) [Medialife Magazine]

... Former Taxi star Judd Hirsch is joining the cast of Damages as Patty Hewes's (Glenn Close) former mentor. Damages is a DirecTV exclusive this year and is scheduled for a summer launch. [EW]

... The Office has booked both Ricky Gervais and Will Arnett for its season finale, fueling speculation that one of the two might take over for Michael Scott (Steve Carell) as boss of Dunder-Mifflin's Scranton branch. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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