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USA Network unveils drama development lineup and greenlit comedies

Melissa Hayer Published: May 16, 2013
NBC UNIVERSAL LOGOS -- Pictured: USA Network Logo -- USA Network Photo
NBC UNIVERSAL LOGOS -- Pictured: USA Network Logo -- USA Network Photo

USA Network revealed today a roster of dramas in development and greenlit comedies for their upcoming programming schedule.

The network also announced the start of production on the period genre project “Horizon” from executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead.”)

Details on the shows, provided by USA Network, are as follows:

HORIZON is a period genre drama set at the height of World War II. At a time when many American women took more significant roles in the workplace than ever before, a secretary at the FBI begins a secretive investigation into files that have been stamped with the codename “horizon.” This mysterious project provides links to the death of her husband and the disappearance of a young girl, and has also – unbeknownst to her – aroused the interest of undercover Nazi spies working in the US. From Universal Cable Productions, Hurd will executive produce through her Valhalla Entertainment, with writer and co-executive producer Bridget Tyler (BURN NOTICE).  The pilot will go into production this summer.

DRAMA DEVELOPMENT ROSTER:

THE ARRANGEMENT (Pilot Under Consideration)- From “Numb3rs” creators Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci this one-hour drama pilot is inspired by a short story from the Elmore Leonard anthology “When The Women Come Out To Dance.”  THE ARRANGEMENT tells the story of Lourdes Nieves (Stephanie Sigman, “Miss Bala”), a Columbian woman who trades her tragic and mysterious past for a fresh start in Miami by entering into a marriage with Billy Whitley (Bryan Greenberg, “How to Make It In America”), a well-meaning and ambitious politician.  In a union of political expediency, Lourdes and Billy manage a delicate dance of romance and clear-eyed pragmatism as she leverages her experience and contacts to help her husband battle the blood sport that is local Florida politics. From Universal Cable Productions and executive producers Doug Liman and David Bartis of Hypnotic (SUITS, COVERT AFFAIRS), the pilot also stars Amanda Schull and Manolo Cardona.

THE EDGE – From Universal Cable Productions and Executive Producer John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. (“Get Lifted”), THE EDGE, written and executive produced by Adam Hoff and Justin Herber, is a thriller that explores one idealistic man’s journey after he leaves an NGO to join the world’s top venture capital firm. Jeff Cross believes he landed his dream job working with an elite team of progressive thinking investors who fund socially conscious projects to better the planet. As he rises through the ranks, he discovers a morally bankrupt workplace that perpetuates shadowy agendas to control governments, industries and global leaders to fill the firm’s coffers. If he goes up against this financial goliath, Jeff risks his soul and the lives of those closest to him. Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co. also executive produce.

COMPLICATIONS – The story of an ER doctor whose life changes after he is involved in a gang shooting when he is forced to explore how active a doctor can be in treating the cause of his patients’ medical problems. From Fox TV Studios, COMPLICATIONS is written and executive produced by BURN NOTICE creator Matt Nix.

BANK –After an unconventional act of heroism gives her the opportunity to choose her next assignment, a young FBI agent surprises everyone by choosing the bank crimes division in Los Angeles. The city of LA is the epicenter of bank robberies in the U.S. with three to six banks robbed every day, representing 30% of all bank robberies in the country.  It takes a special kind of person to confront such an unrelenting tide of crime, leaving her peers suspicious of her intent. From Universal Cable Productions, written and co-executive produced by Nora Zuckerman and Lilla Zuckerman (“Fringe,” “Human Target”) and executive produced by Doug Liman and David Bartis of Hypnotic.

BLANCO COUNTY – Based on a series of books by Ben Rehder, BLANCO COUNTY follows the story of John Marlin, a worldly pro baseball player who would rather spend his down time traveling the world than return to his small Texas hometown. After the death of his father, Marlin returns home to find a lot has changed since he left. The place is now booming with rich ranchers and tourists and there’s an uneasy alliance between the locals and the nouveau rich. Believing the local cops to be inept, Marlin runs for sheriff and surprisingly wins. A man who spent his entire life running away from his roots must now adapt to a new way of life. From Tom Welling Productions and Rob Thomas Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television, BLANCO COUNTY is written by Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars”) and executive produced by Thomas, Tom Welling, Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.

DON’T TURN AROUND – A haunting limited series set on a beautiful but remote island. As the summer draws to an end and the vacationers/weekenders have all left the island, the young staff left behind is ready to finally let loose before they pack up as well. When an unexpected storm rolls across the island during the party, several people mysteriously vanish and turn up dead. Trapped on the island with no means of escape, the remaining group struggles to survive – against whatever is out there … and each other. From Grady Girl Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television, DON’T TURN AROUND is written by J.R. Orci, who executive produces with Dawn Olmstead.

HUNGRY – From ROYAL PAINS executive producer Michael Rauch and restaurateur Joe Bastianich, HUNGRY is an inside look at the opening of a New York City hot spot, inspired by Bastianich’s life and his New York Times bestseller “Restaurant Man.” Well versed in the toll that restaurant life can take on one’s relationships, the son of a famous chef nevertheless tries to open his own eatery. He juggles negotiating with teamsters, working the front of the house with high-end clientele, managing a large staff and finding time to follow his passion: cooking. He is monomaniacal in his pursuit of the perfect restaurant, at a steep cost to himself and those he loves. From Universal Cable Productions, HUNGRY is written and executive produced by Rauch and executive produced by Bastianich.

SHADOW COUNSEL ­ A legal thriller centered on Ethan, a former Army JAG attorney now working as a criminal lawyer in NY who is recruited by the FBI to crack an ongoing investigation. Ethan serves as a shadow counsel – a secret lawyer who operates behind the scenes and completely off the record to circumvent existing roadblocks (hired attorneys, interrogators, etc) in classified cases. Reluctantly agreeing to take the case, Ethan’s life rapidly descends into chaos as he finds himself on the run, unsure of who his friends are or who he can trust.  From Universal Cable Productions, SHADOW COUNSEL is written and executive produced by Barry Schindel (“Castle”) and executive produced by David Semel (“Hemlock Grove,” “American Horror Story”).

COMEDIES:

USA Network today greenlit its first original half-hour comedies, with series orders for SIRENS from Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”) and Bob Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) and PLAYING HOUSE from Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids,” “Best Friends Forever”) and Lennon Parham (“Best Friends Forever,” “Accidentally On Purpose”). The network also picked up a new comedy pilot, LOVE IS DEAD. The new series will debut in the first quarter of 2014, and will be strong complements to MODERN FAMILY, the award-winning and top-rated comedy, which premieres on USA Tuesday, September 24 at 8/7c.

From the distinct comedic point of view of Leary and Fisher, SIRENS follows three of Chicago’s best EMTs whose sometimes silly, self-righteous and even self-destructive personalities make them unqualified for sustaining relationships, friendships and most occupations. They are, however, uniquely qualified for saving anyone who winds up in their ambulance. Based on a UK format, SIRENS stars Michael Mosley (“Pan Am”), Kevin Daniels (“Modern Family”), Jessica McNamee (“The Vow”) and Kevin Bigley (“Game Change”). Leary and Fisher co-wrote the pilot and both executive produce the series. Jim Serpico (“Rescue Me”) of Apostle, and Hal Vogel, David Aukin (“Hyde Park on Hudson”), and David Leach of Daybreak Pictures also executive produce. Filmed on location in Chicago, the series is from Apostle and Fox Television Studios, in conjunction with Daybreak Pictures.

PLAYING HOUSE is a single-camera buddy comedy about what happens when two best friends come back together, just when they need each other most. The original half-hour series is inspired by the ultra-close friendship between St. Clair and Parham. In PLAYING HOUSE, when mother to-be Maggie (Parham) asks her single and career-driven best friend Emma (St. Clair) to return home from her job overseas to attend her baby shower, she has no idea what’s truly in store. Parham and St. Clair co-wrote the presentation and will executive produce the series along with Scot Armstrong (“The Hangover: Part II,” “Old School”) and Ravi Nandan (“Best Friends Forever,” “Animal Practice”) of American Work. The series is from Universal Cable Productions and American Work.

LOVE IS DEAD (pilot order): This single-camera comedy is set at a unique company that specializes in breaking-up romantic relationships — rationally, compassionately, thoroughly — on behalf of those who are willing to pay to not be around when it happens.  It’s the unconventional romantic comedy that asks: “Why, if love is so fickle, do we keep coming back for more?”  Written and executive produced by Zev Borow (“Chuck”), the pilot is from Universal Cable Productions and Gaumont International Television. Katie O’Connell, Elisa Roth, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee executive produce for Gaumont International Television. The pilot is based on the award-winning French short film of the same name, written and directed by Eric Capitaine and produced by Carole Lambert and Carine Ruszniewski of De Films Aiguille.

Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaHayer


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