Southland (2009–2013)
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Unknown Trouble 

A rookie LAPD cop has a very busy shift on his first day in the field while a seasoned detective handles an apparent kidnapping involving a young girl.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Nate Moretta
Detective Sammy Bryant
Detective Lydia Adams
Detective Daniel Salinger
Detective Russell Clarke
Tammi Bryant
Mr. Davis
Mrs. Davis
Detective Kenny 'No-Gun'
Detective Andy Williams


Rookie Ben Sherman's first day on the job is with his experienced partner who belittles him due to his silver-spoon upbringing. Their busy day ends with a call to investigate a noise complaint that deteriorates into a shootout. This incident involves a gang that had, earlier in the day, gunned down a teenage boy for no reason. Meanwhile Det Lydia Adams is assigned a missing child case, which appears to be a kidnapping by someone into pre-teen sex. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


TV-14 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

9 April 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Southland" executive producer John Wells told interviewer Michael Jensen at that the scene in which the bar that Officer John Cooper visits is revealed to be a gay bar was originally much longer and less subtle, but the first cut of the pilot went seven minutes over, so they had to cut some of that content. Nonetheless, the scene was supposed to establish Cooper as a gay character, a fact that was hotly denied by some viewers until Cooper outed himself to Ben during the show's second season. See more »


When Officer Cooper is driving around with Officer Sherman on his first day, Cudlitz calls what appears to be a prostitute over to the cruiser. She leans in the open window and chats them up, revealing she's an undercover vice squad cop. She would not blow her cover that way. Moments later, Cooper pulls up next to an unmarked car containing two undercover cops. There's no way they'd blow cover like that. See more »


[first lines]
Title card: Only 9,800 police officers patrol the city of Los Angeles, an area of 500 square miles and 4 million people...
[a wounded police officer is taken away by paramedics, and arrests are made following a street shooting; Officer Ben Sherman emerges from an apartment complex and crouches next to a dead man lying in the street, staring at the body]
Crime Scene Photographer: You okay, son?
[Sherman continues staring at the body, oblivious to the question]
Crime Scene Photographer: [insistently] You okay, son?
Narrator: Ben Sherman just finished phase ...
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References Punk'd (2003) See more »


Written by Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies
Performed by Supertramp
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User Reviews

The seeds of excellence
13 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'Unknown Trouble' is a curious pilot for "Southland" because this is a series that will eventually feature some finely-drawn characters, but this opener is primarily about the gimmick: the documentary style camera-work. The idea is to make the viewer a genuine fly-on- the- wall during these busts and it's a little surprising to revisit the show and see it dependent on cop archetypes. But like any other John Wells production, it hits you with an affecting scene when you least expect it. Here, it's with the greenhorn patrolman who's just (perfectly) shot his first bad guy - and whether he has the nerve to wear the badge again tomorrow.

This is a gritty drama, filled with blunt action (some of it harrowing). The characters may come at you fast and furious here, but give this just a little bit of time.

It will develop into something special.


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