USA Announces Development Slate

Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
 D Dipasupil/Getty Images

The USA Network has unveiled its development slate that includes eight dramas and five comedies, co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber announced Monday.

In addition to projects with Nathan Lane, Mark Gordon and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, the cable network -- which launches two new series (Suits and Necessary Roughness) this summer -- has others from the creative teams behind Covert Affairs, Royal Pains and Burn Notice in development.

"After five years as the No. 1 cable network, our development goal must be not only to do great new shows with original voices, but also to push the envelope of audience expectations,” Wachtel said in a statement. “This new slate speaks to both of those objectives."

“This powerful slate marks an evolution for USA as we aggressively expand the scope of our content,” McCumber said in a statement. “Developed strategically through our brand lens, this diverse roster represents the network’s introduction of more provocative, innovative original programming than ever before.”

One of the projects, The Enclave, marks the network’s return to limited series, after the network aired the successful sci-fi drama The 4400 and the Debra Messing-starrer The Starter Wife. Both became full-fledged shows, with the latter only lasting one season. Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce is in negotiations to helm The Enclave.

The slate boasts a healthy number of half-hour comedies as the cable net takes the next step in expanding its presence in scripted programming, with House of Cards -- not to be confused with Netflix's David Fincher project of the same name -- showing some semblance to the film (500) Days of Summer.

Additionally, the network has taken a page from HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm (and NBC's canceled The Paul Reiser Show), with the Lane-toplined comedy On We Go, a tongue-and-cheek premise about Lane playing a guy who looks exactly like the actor ... but isn't. The project from Idol alum DioGuardi, Big in Japan, revolves around a boy band that decides to reunite after two decades. 

In November, USA acquired exclusive rights to ABC's hit comedy Modern Family, in its second season, to begin airing fall 2013. 

Here are the projects in development:

Silent Partner, a one-hour drama, centers on an ambulance-chasing attorney and his idealistic young paralegal who team up. According to the logline, he is based in Florida, while she’s based in India. From Leverage creator Chris Downey, who will write and exec produce. Covert Affairs and Suits’ Doug Liman & Dave Bartis and Gene Klein will executive produce. (Universal Cable Productions)

M. Deity, a one-hour drama, is an unconventional medical drama about a doctor who fights hospital bureaucracy following the Katrina aftermath. Billy Finnegan will write and exec produce, with Ann Blanchard, Sam Hansen and Jimmy Miller. (UCP)

The Special, a one-hour drama, is about an optimistic homicide detective who suffers from hypomania who remains a mystery to his L.A.P.D. Colleagues. Bill Wheeler will write and exec produce with Mark Gordon. (ABC Studios)

The Enclave, a limited series, centers on a family who moves far from their hometown and discovers nothing is what it seems in their new community. Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) is in negotiations to direct. The project comes from Mad Men’s Andre and Maria Jacquemetton. Dan Halsted exec produces. (Fox TV)

Hard Cover, a one-hour drama, follows an undercover operative who can blend in anywhere and be completely unassuming.  They team with a middle-aged mom. Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg will write and exec produce, with Castle’s Laurie Zaks. (UCP)

Winslow, a one-hour drama, centers on Jimmy Winslow, a private detective who is a recovering alcoholic with debt, an imprisoned father and an ex-girlfriend who is trying to win back, but he has the ability to solve cases and tell the truth to those who don’t want to hear it. Covert Affairs’ Zak Schwartz will write and co-exec produce with Doug Liman & Dave Bartis and Gene Klein. (UCP)

Regular Einstein, a one-hour drama, revolves around the Duncans, a family of geniuses with there siblings at the top of their academic fields. Younger sibling Einstein isn’t a genius, but is a good cop, and with their help, he may become a great detective. Burn Notice’s Nick Thiel will write and exec produce. (Fox TV)

The Exceptions, a one-hour drama, centers on a recently-jailed debutante daughter of the New York City mayor who uses her resources to solve cases that may have slipped through the cracks. Megan Martin exec produces. The project comes from Reveille’s Carolyn Bernstein and Todd Cohen. (UCP)

On We Go, a half-hour single-camera comedy, stars Nathan Lane as an unlucky actor whose career is cursed by the fact that he resembles, but isn’t, Nathan Lane. Douglas McGrath exec produces with Lane. (UCP)

Big in Japan, a half-hour-comedy, follows a boy band that decides to reunite 20 years after a disastrous concert. Exec producers include Howard Morris, Jeff Kwatinetz, Rich Frank, Paul Frank (Royal Pains), Kara DioGuardi and Steven Finfer. (UCP)

We the Jury, a half-hour single-camera comedy, centers on a single a group of jurors sequestered during a high-profile celebrity murder trial. From Bryan Behair and Steve Baldikoski, along with exec producer Marty Adelstein. (Fox 21)

TGIM, a half-hour comedy, takes a glimpse at the suburban cul-de-sac over a weekend. Brent Forrester exec produces, with Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ted Gold. (UCP)

House of Cards, a half-hour comedy, revolves around a recent college graduate who looks for love and has a successful writing career at a greeting card company. Julien Nitzberg exec produces with Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun, Gene Stein and Andy Weil. (UCP)

The announcement marks the first joint development slate from Wachtel and McCumber.

Email: philiana.ng@thr.com

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