USA is preparing yet another original cable drama with Common Law, the story of two cops who go to couple's counseling to get over their respective problems. The series was ordered from a pilot by CBS Studios.
Michael Ealy (Californication, The Good Wife) plays the straight man, Travis Marks, a former lawyer, divorcee and crack LAPD cop. The other side of the coin is Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole, The Chicago Code, 24), an old-school ladies man who boozes around but makes the collar. The two partners finally have enough of each other, and are forced to undergo couple's counseling by their police captain.
Also joining the cast is The Fighter's Jack McGee, who plays the unconventional captain. A host of other actors and actresses populate the show's IMDB page, but without more casting information, it's hard to know who will stay on past the pilot.
CBS Studios knows how to make a hit, as evidenced by their continual dominance of broadcast TV. Husband and wife team Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley will be writing and producing. The pair have spotty history with hits like Bad Boys II and National Treasure, which are dragged down by Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and The Shaggy Dog.
Common Law is the latest in a long string of successful original shows from USA, which has led the ratings race on cable for years. Shows introduced just this summer are Unnecessary Roughness and Suits, with returning favorites Burn Notice, White Collar and Covert Affairs filling out the ranks.
Production on the series will begin next month in New Orleans. Eleven episodes have been ordered so far, a typical season for a one-hour cable drama.
An acute observer will note that this will be USA's fourth current show with opposites-attract male leads, joining White Collar, Suits and Psych. The format has made for some enjoyable (not to mention successful) shows in the past, but with almost half of the network's original programming employing this plot device, one wonders how far they can go while still being able to distinguish the programs.
Expect to see Common Law in the spring or summer of 2012 on USA.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
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