Announcing a slate of 13 new programs, USA Network is looking to continue its lead amongst the competition by bringing in some recognizable names to its already impressive line up.
For starters, the network that built its brand on the hour-long drama is now branching out into comedy. Of the 13 shows currently being developed, five of them are comedies, and by far the biggest name attached to them is two-time Tony Award-winner, Nathan Lane.
Lane will star in and serve as executive producer for On We Go, a clever-sounding comedy about an actor (Lane) who has spent his entire career thwarted by the fact that he looks exactly like the actor Nathan Lane. In the series, Lane’s character returns to his hometown in Texas after his father’s failing health forces his dreams of being a Broadway star to be put on hiatus.
The other big name mentioned in the announcement won’t have such a hands-on role in the show, but will be working within her area of expertise. Somewhat divisive American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi will serve as a consulting producer on Big in Japan. The comedy centers on the members of a boy band who disbanded after a dreadful concert 20 years ago. The same team responsible for the USA hit Royal Pains - Frank Rich, Paul Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz - will produce Big in Japan.
Other comedies include:
- We the Jury, a half-hour comedy about the joys of being sequestered during an O.J. Simpson-like murder trial.
- TGIM (Thank Goodness its Monday) comes from Brent Forrester (The Office, King of the Hill). The project focuses on the weekends of busy parents who dream of returning to work to escape the madness of their children’s insane schedules.
- Finally, there is House of Cards (not to be confused with David Fincher’s Netflix-exclusive series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey). The soon-to-be-renamed program centers on a recent college grad searching for love while working at a greeting card company – basically the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character from (500) Days of Summer.
Meanwhile, on the drama front, director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Jumper) has two programs to coincide with his Covert Affairs drama currently running on the network. Liman will debut Silent Partner and Winslow.
- Silent Partner is an hour-long legal drama that centers on a Florida-based attorney and his outsourced legal assistant who still lives in India.
- Winslow will tell the story of alcoholic (is there any other kind?) private detective Jimmy Winslow, who is dealing with the triple-threat of seemingly insurmountable debt, an imprisoned father and an ex-girlfriend he can’t help but try to win back.
Other dramas include:
- M. Deity, a hospital drama focusing on a doctor who fights red tape in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- The Special, about a LAPD Homicide detective suffering from hypomania, a condition that causes a lasting euphoric or, in this case, overly optimistic mood.
- The Exceptions focuses on the daughter of the New York City mayor who, after being released from jail, uses her connections to help solve cases that have been otherwise overlooked.
- Hard Cover will be a one-hour drama from Castle producer Laurie Zaks about a rogue undercover operative who teams with a middle-aged, suburban mother.
- Regular Einstein from Burn Notice writer-producer Nick Thiel is about the only non-genius member of the Duncan family, Eninstien Duncan, who utilizes his family members’ great intellect in his role as a police detective.
- And last, but not least we have The Enclave. A limited series from writers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men), which revolves around a family forced to move from their home to a new community where nothing is as it seems.
That certainly is a lengthy and diverse list of programming that, according to USA Network Co-president Chris McCumber, was “Developed strategically through our brand lens, this diverse roster represents the network's introduction of more provocative, innovative original programming than ever before."
It is far too early for most of these programs to have cast key roles, let alone set an airdate, but we will keep you posted as each proposed series progresses.
Source: TV Guide