USA renews 'In Plain Sight'

9:00 PM PST 08/02/2009 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Network also finalizing deal to bring back 'Criminal Intent'

USA Network has renewed sophomore drama "In Plain Sight" for a third season.

Additionally, the network is finalizing a deal to renew the show's companion on Sunday nights, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

That, combined with last week's orders for the red-hot Thursday duo of "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains," means that USA has picked up all of its series that were up for renewal; that is an impossible feat for a broadcast network and very rare for a cable net.

But USA is completely dominating the cable ratings with big help from its slate of six original series: the newly picked up quartet and hits "Monk" and "Psych."

"It's a great run," president of original programming Jeff Wachtel said. "We have an incredible team, and we also have gotten a little lucky."

"Sight," which stars Mary McCormack as an U.S. marshal for the witness protection program, has been picked up for 16 episodes, the same order the network recently gave to "Burn" and "Pains."

There will be a change at the helm of "Sight" next season: The two executive producers , creator David Maples and Paul Stupin, will take a back seat in the day-to-day operations but stay on as consultants.

"With his creative voice, David has been an incredibly important part of the show," Wachtel said

The network plans to bring in another person to give the series "a little more narrative drive."

After launching in summer 2008 as the year's top new cable series, the second season of "Sight" premiered during the regular broadcast season, airing in the run-up to and during the May sweep.

That was a tall order for a young show, but "Sight" passed the test with flying colors, averaging almost 5 million viewers and getting a 55% bump from DVR viewing in the Live+7 ratings, Wachtel said. The show is set to wrap Aug. 16

The network hasn't decided yet whether "Sight," which is darker than most USA fare, will continue to be partnered with "Criminal Intent." It might also move from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. to launch a new series the way the third season of "Burn" was used to launch breakout hit "Pains."

Next for the network is this week's season premiere of the Friday bumbling-detective block of departing veteran "Monk" and "Psych" and the October launch of new light drama "White Collar."

But even with the solid performance of all of its series so far this year, USA still plans to order one or two more pilots by the end of the year, Wachtel said, in addition to the recently greenlighted spy drama "Cover Affairs" starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham.
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