USA joins with Gibson, Grazer

USA Network has joined forces with Mel Gibson's production company to develop an Iraq war drama, the cable channel said Tuesday.

Peace Out, from Gibson's Icon Prods. banner, is envisioned as a six-hour series that tells a fact-based story of two young American men who head out for adventure in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad.

The announcement was made during USA's "upfront" presentation to advertisers. Also on the slate for next season is a limited series based on Gigi Levangie Grazer's best-selling novel The Starter Wife, about a recent divorcee redefining herself in Hollywood after years of marriage to a studio mogul. (Grazer and moviemaker husband Brian Grazer recently announced they had split up.)

USA's other new projects include Stuck in Paradise, about a tennis pro who begins work at a tropical resort and finds that he can't leave because of a contract issue; Burn Notice, about a spy who gets fired and then goes into business for himself while he finds out who set him up; and To Love and Die in LA, about a woman who learns that her long-lost father was an assassin.

USA also intends to dip into telenovelas with two late-night series that will air three nights a week for a 13-week run: The Hamptons, about the famed Long Island towns, and Secrets of the Spa, about a desert spa resort.

Flush from its success with a social networking Web site called Show Us Your Character, USA will delve further into digital media by offering a new broadband Flash player that will stream the season premiere of Monk and the series premiere of Psych on June 30. It will be available on the Web, and as video-on-demand on cable, satellite, and through telco offerings.

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