News Briefs: USA Orders Two New Series and Puts Eight More in Development

USA UPFRONTS NEWS

... USA Network also held an Upfront presentation this week, and revealed a ton of stuff. Let's run it down:

ORDERED TO SERIES

Sirens is a (presumably single-camera) half-hour comedy following Chicago EMTs as they drive around town in an ambulance saving lives. Michael Mosley (Pan Am), Kevin Daniels (Modern Family), and Jessica McNamee (The Vow) star.

Playing House is a single-camera half-hour comedy from the Best Friends Forever team of Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham (pictured above); they star as best friends who reunite when one asks the other to attend her baby shower. 

PILOT ORDERED

Horizon is an hour-long drama produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead). Set during WWII, it follows a secretary for the FBI who digs around files codenamed "Horizon" and learns that the project might be connected to her husband's death and the disappearance of a young girl. And also undercover Nazi spies! 

IN DEVELOPMENT

The Arrangement, based on an Elmore Leonard story about a Colombian woman who marries a Miami politician to help him gain a foothold in Florida politics. 

The Edge, about a man who joins a progressive investment firm only to learn that *surprise* it's full of jerks who don't care about anything but money.

Complications, about an ER doctor whose life changes after a gang shooting. From Burn Notice creator Matt Nix.

Bank, about a young female FBI agent who, after a heroic act, gets to choose her department and shockingly takes over the division in charge of bank robberies. 

Blanco County, based on the books by Ben Rehder, follows a man who returns to his small Texas hometown and becomes the sheriff. From Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

Don't Turn Around, which is basically Harper's Island, down to the limited-run setup. The staff of a small island resort start dying mysteriously and they have to figure out whodunnit.

Hungry, about a young chef opening a hot new restaurant in New York. Loosely based on restauranteur Joe Bastianich's book Restaurant Man

Shadow Counsel, about a New York lawyer who operates classified cases behind the scenes, but ends up getting wrapped up in something greater. 

Is it just me or do all these sound boring? Like, every single one, boring. [USA via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... HBO has done the right thing and picked up Mike Judge's untitled comedy set in Silicon Valley. The series follows a group of techy nerds as they enjoy, or just try to handle, success. T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, and the very hilarious Kumail Nanjiani star. This will probably be very funny. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The online versions of All My Children and One Life to Live will scale back to two episodes a week, because this thing was doomed from the start and both shows should've ended when they were canceled by ABC. [TV Guide]

... Green Bay Packers fans will reportedly get their own reality show on TBS called Cheeseheads. Raiders fans were initially approached, but they stabbed all the casting agents. [ReelScreen]


CASTING NEWS

... There's a report out there that Saturday Night Live might also be losing Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis. It makes sense, since everyone else who's considered a veteran is also leaving. Seth Meyers and Bill Hader are already confirmed to be exiting after this weekend's finale. [NY Post]

... Forget everything I said the other day about Shakira not coming back to The Voice, because she is a big fat liar. Well, a big liar. Well, a liar. She IS coming back, and Usher is, too, but not in the fall. The Voice will use a half-different set of judges for its fall and spring seasons, with CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera returning for the fall, and Usher and Shakira replacing them in the spring. Blake Shelton and Adam Levine will remain on board for both cycles. I don't want to start any trouble or anything, but it seems to me that NBC thinks black men and Latino women are interchangeable, but white men are not. Hey, just an observation! [EW]

Comments (58)
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Bank is the show with the most potential, but the "after a heroic act gets to pick her own police area to work in" aspect was just done in Golden Boy when Clark was offered the same option. But Blanco County and the Arrangement could be interesting too. The Arrangement runs the risk of emphasizing the stereotypes of Colombians and Floridians though.
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"I don't want to start any trouble or anything, but it seems to me that NBC thinks black men and Latino women are interchangeable, but white men are not. Hey, just an observation!" - LMFAO
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I'm a huge Packers fan and even I hope that Cheeseheads show gets cancelled immediately. I can't even begin to imagine the humiliation the people on that show will bring to the Packer fan base.
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I too am a huge Packers fan and I completely agree with you.
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Complications and Bank sound quite interesting....
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I agree with those two seeming to be the ones with the most potential.
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USA Network is doing sitcoms, that's so weird. I don't think these sound boring, they just sound bare-bones, you can boil almost anything down to a sentence and make it sound boring, it's what you do with the premise that makes it special. I just hope USA Net hasn't decided to go dark with all those dramas, that was their original plan and I didn't like it.

Sirents, sounds like a thing, I can't picture what that'll be like, no opinion yet.

Playing House, sounds very chick-flick-esque, probably a pass.

Horizon sounds ambitious but easy to screw up, wait and see.

The Arangement, that sounds... actually, with "Elmore Leonard" in the descrip, I have no idea what to expect.

The Edge, sounds like Suits minus the fun, wait and see.

Complications, I love Matt Nix but the concept sounds paper thin, maybe there will be more interesting twists when we learn more.

Bank, premise sounds whatevs, kinda basic perhaps, can't see how a series will evolve from that, bank robbery of the week or mini-arcs chasing robbers or what.

Blanco County, premise isn't much but Rob Thomas is the man, so I'm in.

Don't Turn Around, doesn't sound like my thing, but maybe it'll be interesting.

Hungry, could be fun, could be stupid, could be melodramatic, no idea yet.

Shadow Counsel, a very interesting but basic premise, the "something greater" weakens it considerably though.

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The world is better with Mike Judge doing shows, but I doubt that'll last long.

That's sad about the online soaps scaling back to 2 a week, you're right that it was doomed from the start though.

Armisen is only a surprise because there weren't rumors, but his behavior on the show suggested he was leaving this season. Sudeikis was phoning it in for the whole season, rumors he was checking out felt on the money.

Ha, The Voice is outfoxing Fox.
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well, i can still respect USAnetwork, because afterall, they don't screw with us,

i mean Burn Notice, Psych, Suits, White Collar, NR(can't spell)
i mean yeah they got some show that didn't do well, only because
they didn't fit the style of USA's programming,

so if those Big Network does injustice to the show,
hey, at least i got USA,
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what about USA picking up happy endings?
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The reason why I clicked this article
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USA starting to stare down the same rabbit hole that the parent (NBC) is stuck in. They are losing two of their most consistent performers 'Burn Notice' and 'Psych' over the next year and all that it looks like coming down the pike is the 'same old'. Where is the original idea in that slate? Those half hour comedies look like the same tired garbage that ends up on the networks. One of them was actually already killed by the networks. They are actually rinsing and repeating someone else's mistake. Keep chugging to the bottom of the cable pile USA, you'll always have RAW!
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I really like HBO's choices for next season (mostly the show based in Silicon Valley and "Lorimer"). As for USA, I might watch Hungry and perhaps Blanco County. Oh and I'm glad for Shakira and Usher being back in the Spring. They bring something new to the show. In my opinion, they should let Adam and Blake be on the coaches panel with Shakira and Usher and chose two other artists to assist Xtina and CeeLo. It would bring novelty to the table.
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You're right, these do all sound boring...but then again, it's hard to get a true sense of a show from a two-line synopsis. I remember reading the synopsis for "Castle" way back when and thinking it sounded boring...now it's one of my favs, so I reserve judgement at this point.
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Still hoping for USA to pick up Happy Endings
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I feel like if they were going to pick it up, it would have been announced by now. The fact that they are developing so many other shows makes me question whether that's even on the table anymore.
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After hearing that Burn Notice's last season was coming up and that Psych's season 8 may be its last, I was wondering what the USA network was planning show-wise. I'm glad to hear there are more scripted shows coming and not a crap-ton of Kardashian-type reality shows or more wrestling.

I hope Royal Pains and White Collar aren't the next shows to go. I love those series, too! I like Necessary Roughness, as well.
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HBO + Mike Judge + T.J. Miller + Kumail Nanjiani = Sounds good to me
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is them ordering a couple of half hour comedies a hint that they are serious of picking up happy endings?
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Does this means no Happy Endings?!? that makes me so sad!
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And you're right. None of these shows sound interesting.
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Am I wrong or the FBI didn't exist during WWII?
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You may be thinking of the CIA, which was operating as the OSS at that time (simplistically).
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Yeah my bad, I checked on their website :)
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It was around.
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The only reason I read this article is to see if USA picked up Happy Endings.
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So Mike Judge IS alive! Good! I've missed him.
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Every single one of USA's shows sound awful. Absolutely, soul-suckingly awful. But then, the only show from that channel that ever held my interest was Burn Notice, and only for 2 seasons, before it went to shit.
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'Is it just me or do all these sound boring? Like, every single one, boring.' Idk. USA has put out some pretty solid shows that I have enjoyed watching over the years. 'Monk', 'Suits', 'Covert Affairs', 'Psych', even '4400' way back in the day. I trust USA. Whatever they got planned, I'll giv eit a try.
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The snarky comment about the soaps is unwarranted. Just because you may not watch or dislike the genre is no excuse to be so indifferent and disrespectful to its fans.

That said, the One Life to Life return is crap. They blew the whole return of of character named Victor, they added annoying sets like the Shelter club, they did not remain true to some set designs and have completely omitted others, they screwed up some characters, replaced characters with poor, even bad substitutes, it's slow regardless of being a half hour, and they added language so characters can now say s**t now. It turns out they may not have obtained the show's original writers to maintain consistency, to say the least.

If Prospect Park had wanted, they could have tried developing a whole new soap from the ground up to be more provocative and "edgy", but what they should NEVER have done is take a soap that has been on the air for 45 years or so and done what they did to change the whole attitude, demeanor, pacing, etc. to create something other than what was a long-standing part of our TV culture and ruin it. What saddens me even more are the banal and insipid Facebook comments of fans who were happy to have it back only to be apparently clueless and/or illiterate to see how awful this has turned out to be.

I will not be surprised if it goes under and could care less if it does. I DO appreciate that someone made an effort to continue this show, and All My Children, which I do not watch. It is not unlike Netflix attempting to continue Arrested Development, but the execution was really bad.

Surette, it's that you should respect regardless of it being something you personally care about or not. If this were Prospect Park trying to restore Arrested Development instead of Netflix, would you be so critical? Shows have their fans, as you should know well, so why disparage someone attempting a comeback for them? It's only unfortunate that PP failed here.
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Okay so wait a minute? You think what PP did with the soaps is terrible and agree they should be cancelled but you're made that someone else said it? Prospect Park ruined both soaps. Keeping those actors anchored to them is just dragging down their careers. They should be cancelled immediately.
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I didn't say they should be canceled, there are those who love the shows being back, but I think they are blinded by that and unable to see or realize how PP f-ed it up - at least for OLTL. If OLTL were to go down in flames, I wouldn't personally miss it, but there are those who would, again, be upset.

I wished I knew how they determine ratings for these shows though and what they need to get to achieve success. Surette seemed to imply that cutting back was ratings failure, but the article made no such explicit claim. it could simply be a business model/cost decision as they stated.

If PP had strictly maintained the spirit, mood, demeanor, of the series as it was on ABC plus picked up the storylines properly right from ABC's last episode (preferably with the original writers), it may have been far better received and applauded, but PP didn't and I wished I knew why. I can't believe some of the actors agreed to come back, if they knew this is what PP had in mind. The biggest idiocy, as far as actors are concerned, is that three went over to General Hospital, left, and are now back as completely new characters. One will still be on OLTL and switch between the two, so now you have one actor doing two characters on two different shows while the other actors are so far inexplicably absent from OLTL.

My point though is that PP, to say the least, should be respected for trying to pave a way for TV shows, old or original, to find the internet as a new independent way to continue or debut as new. I just feel they did themselves, and the hope of future endeavors, great harm here by messing with a show that had a long, established history that should not have been changed in any way except for issues beyond their control, such as actors unwilling to return, etc.
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Hope the comedies pan out as USA hasn't had a comedy on it's schedule since it ended it's USAM comedy block 10-12 years ago. I know there is talk of USA possibly picking up Happy Endings but how about Don't Trust the "B" in Apt. 23? ABC ditched it and as I'm sure others would agree this show needs saving too.
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The best part of USA developing their own half-hour comedies is that it gives me hope for their also possibly resurrecting Happy Endings.
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i'd say that's a pretty astute observation, that one about the voice.

I wouldn't say all of the usa shows sound boring but would say a good portion of them do. I'd say Shadow Counsel, Hungry, Complications, The Edge & The Arrangement all sound boring. while Don't Turn Around sounds interesting to me and i'd probably at least give Bank and Blanco County a try. so IMO 5/8 sound boring ...those aren't great numbers by any stretch.

oops I guess I skipped the pilot ordered and ordered to series ones...horizon I'd say sounds bad for 2 reasons. 1 is having someone from the walking dead attached and 2nd the premise. we don't really need another go nowhere big mystery show like ever, do we? it's hard to judge a comedy based on it's proposed premise. i'd probably give both a try and also I have a huge crush on Lennon Parham!

man I already for the first time ever dislike 2 SNL cast members so losing ones I love does not bode well for my continued interest in the show.

a live action mike judge comedy sounds awesome indeed.

as someone who lives in [southern] california I appreciate that oakland raiders joke quite a bit.
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I find it amazing that they keep coming up with infinitely more ideas for TV shows as they cavalierly cancel stuff we like, but they do. None of this sounds good, but that doesn't mean some of it isn't. Like the guy below says about rebooting Brisco County Jr. - I want my Human Target back but I demand Mark Valley, Jackie Earle Haley, Chi McBride, Janet Montgomery and Indira Varma, or no deal. Am I being ridiculous? Of course I am, but what the hell, a man can dream can't he. Crap, now I have to go watch one...
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Hey, last chance to get a free copy of my new book A Brief History of Time Travel, inspired by Tim's great reviews of Fringe. I've had Some takers and they've all been very nice - even FringeFanatic, who writes better than most of us asked for one. historyoftimetravel (dot com) or email me at john@ that website.
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Well with the Voice judges just bring back cee lo and christina as Usher and Shakira are useless leave them off the show they ruined this season....
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I think I read somewhere that Sirens was created by Denis Leary, so for that sole purpose I may check it out. I loved Rescue Me and I think he is talented writer and comedian. Your comment about the Raiders had me laughing. And some interesting insight into the Voice judging switheroos. While I don't think that is what NBC intended, they would be the only network to pull that off. And please USA, save Happy Endings. I think the show would work well with the network because of all the quirky characters.
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"Blanco County". If Rob Thomas is behind it, don't you dare discount it because it sounds boring. I could have said the same thing about "Party Down" which was awesome. I do admit that the rest of the USA slate could be more interesting, though I will give a good shot to "Playing House" because I like the people involved.
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USA Upfronts were pointless cause they NEED TO SAVE HAPPY ENDINGS!!!!!!
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And I'm not surprised by the SNL departures. SNL has always been a stepping stone for these comedians, though many of them fade away after they leave the show.
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I think I'll pass on all these shows. I'm done with USA Network after Psych ends.
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where the HELL is Happy Endings, USA?!?!

I'll watch Playing House solely because of Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham. Best Friends Forever was a great show, and unjustly cancelled. DON'T MAKE A NEW SHOW, JUST PICK THAT ONE UP (ALONG WITH HAPPY ENDINGS)!

I might give Blanco County and Don't Turn Around a shot too.
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The premises of the USA shows do sound boring but I'd like to see a trailer of Shadow Counsel before deciding on that one.
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No, it's not just you. All of those series sound quite boring. The premise of all USA shows do, though, including the successful ones. That said, they'd be much better of by... oh, I don't know... ACQUIRING HAPPY ENDINGS.
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I think that Don't Turn Around sounds okay, but I guess that it all has to do with the execution. I actually enjoyed Harper's Island.
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Sadly, have to agree. All these USA pilots sound boring and lifeless. With shows like Burn Notice, Suits, and White Collar having monstrous fan followings, I would have thought USA would have tried to stick with similar formulas of small, highly cohesive groups of unorthodox pros, but hey, what do I know, I only WATCH tv...
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Well it doesnt look like happy endings will be going to USA = disappointed
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So Seth Meyers is done after this weekend, I assumed he would leave in December, I wonder who will take over as WU anchor? I called the departures of Sudekis and Armisen yesterday.
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Seth Meyers will leave in 2014 so he'll be back in some capacity in the fall.
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Darn, I was looking forward to a new anchor, I am so over Meyers. Well Soon enough he'll be gone.
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I have a larger problem with more guests than topical jokes myself.
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Agreed, especially when I dislike most of the guests.
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