''South of Nowhere'' is an American teen drama
television series created by Thomas W. Lynch
. It first aired on November 4, 2005 on Noggin
as part of its teen programming block, The N
. The show was produced by Noggin LLC
in association with the creator's studio, Tom Lynch Company. It ran for three seasons and 40 episodes in total, the last of which aired on December 12, 2008. Live webisodes
were also created to accompany each episode in the season 2 storyline, and were seen exclusively through The N's website on the Click.
The show follows the lives of the members of the Carlin family (Paula, Arthur, Glen, Clay, and Spencer
) as they adjust to moving from Ohio
to Los Angeles, California
. One of the main focuses include the relationship between Spencer Carlin
) and her bisexual
friend, Ashley Davies
). The close friendship between Ashley and Spencer led Spencer to question her own sexuality
, a subject which created controversy before the show first aired. It was the first series on The N to deal with such a subject relating to the primary characters. ''South of Nowhere'' was positively reviewed by publications such as ''Variety
''The Boston Globe
and ''The New York Times
Rare for a teen series, but fitting with Noggin/The N's goals as a "thinking channel," the show was created with loose educational goals in mind. Parent discussion guides were available for each episode on The N's website. The guides offered tips and questions about the topics raised in ''South of Nowhere'', especially those centered around sexual identity
, to use as discussion starters with teenagers.
The series begins with the Carlins moving to Los Angeles. The Carlin children transfer to a Los Angeles school called King High. The father, Arthur, works as a social worker and school counselor. The mother, Paula, initiated the move to accept a lucrative job in the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital. Throughout the series, Arthur and Paula struggle to keep their family happy and together in their new environment.
The youngest Carlin child, Spencer, befriends a bisexual girl named Ashley Davies. Ashley is the jaded, neglected daughter of a famous rock star. As her friendship with Ashley develops into a romance, Spencer begins to question her sexuality. When she figures out that she is gay, Clay and Arthur support her, while Glen and Paula struggle to understand it at first and take time to realize the error of their ways. Spencer's relationship with Ashley introduces her to Aiden Dennison, who was once Ashley's boyfriend, as well as to Kyla Woods, Ashley's estranged half-sister who debuts in season two. Spencer and Ashley's storylines involve topics of homosexuality
, peer pressure
, religion, romance, and high school
The middle child, Clay, was adopted by the Carlins and is African-American. He is a straight-A student and cares deeply about his future and his family. He becomes best friends with a movie buff named Sean Miller, and he dates an aspiring artist named Chelsea Lewis. Clay constantly wonders about his birth mother, which drives him to find out her identity and meet with her. When Clay discovers that his birth mother chose to give him up for adoption because she was a teen parent, he is hurt by her treatment of him, but they eventually make partial amends. At the end of the second season, Clay is murdered in a drive-by shooting at prom, deeply affecting his family and friends for the remainder of the series. Clay's storylines, as well as Sean's and Chelsea's, deal with topics of racism
, teen pregnancy
, hate crime
s, and stepfamilies
The eldest child, Glen, is the athlete of the family. He joins the basketball team and quickly upstages the former star player, Aiden. Glen begins to date the captain of the cheerleading squad, Madison Duarte, and is sought after by colleges for his basketball skills. However, during an impromptu basketball match, Glen injures his leg and is unable to play. He becomes addicted to the painkillers he is prescribed, which leads to him losing his basketball dreams by the time he graduates. As a graduate, Glen plans to join the army but later decides against it, eventually choosing to work at a sporting goods store. Glen's storylines involve topics of drugs
, drug dealing
, stress, and the military
* Gabrielle Christian
as Spencer Carlin
* Mandy Musgrave
as Ashley Davies
* Matt Cohen
as Aiden Dennison
* Chris Hunter
as Glen Carlin
* Danso Gordon
as Clay Carlin (seasons 1–2; guest star in season 3)
* Rob Moran
as Arthur Carlin
* Maeve Quinlan
as Paula Carlin
* Austen Parros as Sean Miller (seasons 1–2; recurring in season 3)
* Valery Ortiz
as Madison Duarte
* Aasha Davis
as Chelsea Lewis (recurring in season 1; main in seasons 2–3)
* Eileen April Boylan
as Kyla Woods (seasons 2–3)
Thomas Lynch said "I believe The N is the only network bold and daring enough to air this series, and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with them." He said that Amy Friedman, the creative director of Noggin and The N, "showed no fear about the idea" of a coming-out storyline; her main focus was ensuring that the subject matter was treated respectfully.
Tom Ascheim, the general manager of Noggin and The N, said that ''South of Nowhere'' represented how he wanted The N block to present itself. In an interview with ''The New York Times
'', Ascheim said that the show "doesn't preach...it doesn't pretend it's doing something particularly heroic...it just kind of says, 'Hi, here we are, being who we are.'"
Likewise, Friedman called the show "definitional" to the block.
Each episode of ''South of Nowhere'' is half an hour in length with commercials (23–25 minutes of actual program). The pilot episode was produced as two episode segments and runs for one hour (about 46 minutes of actual program). Noggin LLC
initially ordered 11 episodes of the series for its The N block, which aired on Fridays at 8:30 p.m.
On February 27, 2008, it was officially announced on The N's podcast, ''The N'Sider Podcast'', that ''South of Nowhere'' was to be canceled after the end of season 3. On February 28, an official announcement was made on the show's website that it would be the last season.
Rather than cut the season in half, The N gave ''South of Nowhere'' a four-week break. The show returned to Noggin's nighttime lineup in January 2006 with the remaining episodes from the original order to air. During the breaks between episodes, interviews were shown with two of the stars, Gabrielle Christian
and Matt Cohen
, during commercial breaks.
The second season was originally set to begin on October 6, 2006, but was pushed up to September 29, 2006. Its season premiere followed the sixth-season premiere of ''Degrassi: The Next Generation''. The N officially renewed ''South of Nowhere'' for a third season of 16 episodes in 2007.
Eight episodes aired from August 10, 2007 to September 21, 2007.
Promotions began airing in March 2008 stating the show would be returning April 11. However, on March 21, it was announced that the final half of the third season had been pushed back to the fall. ''South of Nowhere'' returned for the remainder of its third season on October 10, 2008 and ended its run on December 12, 2008.
* In the broadcast version of season one, the theme song was "I Don't Wanna Know (If You Don't Want Me)" by The Donnas
* The show's theme song for the second and third seasons is "Wasted" by LP
* For the Amazon DVD and iTunes releases, the first season's theme music was replaced with "Lift Me Up" by Gena Olivier.
* The song used in the teaser trailers for season one was "No Money Fun" by Oly.
* "Reasons to Fall" by Lauren Hoffman
is used multiple times in "The Morning After". Another song by Hoffman, "Ghost You Know", was used during the ending scene of the season one finale. Her songs "Broken", "Hope You Don't Mind" and "Magic Stick" are also used throughout the series.
* The song used in early promos for season one is "Perfect Vision" by Montag
* The song used in the first promo for season three is "Deep" by Ben Broussard.
* The song used in the promo for the last half of the series is "Goodbye" by Secondhand Serenade
* The song used in the episode "Girls Guide To Dating" (also titled "Girls Guide To Dating Girls") is "Something In Me" by Katelyn Tarver.
* The song used in "Behind The Music" is "What I Wouldn't Give" by Skylar Grey
* The song used twice ("Saturday Night Is For Fighting" and "The It Girls") is "Hollywood" by Conex.
Reruns aired on MuchMusic
in Canada in 2011 until 2012. Reruns aired on TeenNick in the United States from 2009–2010 and again in 2012. In 2017, the show began airing in reruns on the Logo TV
, the owner of Noggin/The N, struck a deal with Amazon.com
to produce DVD
s of its shows, including ''South of Nowhere''. Amazon made the discs, cover art, and disc art themselves.
''South of Nowhere'' is available to download online on the "TV Shows" section of Apple's U.S. iTunes Store
and the episodes are formatted for use with the Apple iPod
. The show is also available for download on Amazon Unbox
service and viewable on a compatible PC, TV, or portable video player. On all of these copies, the first-season episodes have had the opening and closing theme music replaced with different music (noted above).
All episodes, as well as the webisodes, were able to be streamed on The N's video service "The Click". However, this service is only available in selected countries. It is not available in Canada. Episodes can also be viewed on Logo's official website.
Season 2 was released on September 16, 2008, through ''Amazon.com
''. Season 1 was released on October 21, 2008. These contain the same edits as used on Amazon Unbox. Season 1 does not feature opening credits for the majority of the episodes, though the accompanying music track, "Life Me Up," is used in the closing credits for each.
Season 3 was released on June 16, 2009 through ''Amazon.com
''South of Nowhere'' received positive reviews from television critics.
Ratings for the second season were up by 35% from season 1 and on November 17, the series reached a high among teens with a 2.16 rating.
Awards and nominations
The series was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series
in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
''South of Nowhere'' cast interviews and episode recaps on After Ellen
Category:2005 American television series debuts
Category:2008 American television series endings
Category:2000s American high school television series
Category:2000s American LGBT-related drama television series
Category:2000s American teen drama television series
Category:English-language television shows
Category:Noggin (brand) original programming
Category:The N original programming
Category:Lesbian-related television shows
Category:Television series about families
Category:Television series about teenagers
Category:Television shows set in Los Angeles