News

USA Is 'On a Roll’

3/28/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

USA Network’s development slate for the new season continues to build on the channel’s character-driven brand, with projects that include shows about a “concierge” doctor and an inquisitive nanny.

USA, whose tagline is “Characters Welcome,” last week unveiled its development roster, a list that includes four new pilot scripts, namely Royal Pains, White Collar, Shirleyville and The Nanny Files.

At its upfront presentation, USA also laid out the schedule for its year-round launches of original shows. There will be a variety of debuts this summer, with the launch of Emmy-Award winning The Starter Wife as a series set for October.

Snapshot
USA Network stays in character:
SOURCE: Multichannel News research
New pilot scripts: Royal Pains, Shirleyville, White Collar, The Nanny Files.
New series: The Starter Wife, In Plain Sight
Returning series: Burn Notice, Monk, Psych

USA is on pace to have its best quarter ever among 25-to-54-year-olds this first quarter, averaging 1.31 million viewers, according to network officials.

“USA is on a roll,” Bonnie Hammer, who last week was promoted to the slot of NBC Universal president of Cable Entertainment and Cable Studio, said at the network’s upfront in Manhattan.

USA’s upcoming development slate includes Royal Pains, about a doctor in the Hamptons who becomes an on “on-call” physician for the rich, or a concierge doctor.

White Collar, from Fox Television Studios, is about a con man who escapes from a maximum-security prison by walking out the front door to find the lost love of his life. His nemesis at the FBI tracks him down and uses him as a consultant to catch other notorious and elusive criminals.

In Shirleyville, an Afghanistan war vet returns to his hometown of Shirleyville and finds himself sworn in as mayor when the previous mayor dies.

And in The Nanny Files, a nanny who works for a widower police chief takes an active role, unbeknownst to him, in solving his cases. The show is from Fox Television Studios, with Joann Moore of Swimming With Sharks serving as co-executive producer.

After successfully debuting Law & Order: Criminal Intent last October, USA will repeat the formula and premiere the new 10-episode order of last year’s hit miniseries starring Debra Messing, The Starter Wife, Friday nights at 10 p.m. this October.

The network also said it was bringing back Law & Order: CI June 8, the day it will also debut the new original scripted series In Plain Sight. Criminal Intent has the 9 p.m. slot Sundays, followed by In Plain Sight at 10 p.m.

In Plain Sight, about a U.S. Marshal working in the federal witness-protection program, will have limited commercial interruptions during its premiere, which will be presented by Procter & Gamble. Shot on location in and around Albuquerque, N.M., In Plain Sight will premiere with a 76-minute episode, followed by 11 one-hour episodes.

In addition, new seasons of USA’s hit shows Monk — which is celebrating its 100th episode during its upcoming seventh season — Burn Notice and Psych will all return in the summer. Burn Notice begins its second season July 10, while Monk and Psych will both return July 18.

Monk’s landmark 100th episode will air Sept. 5.

September