Upfronts 2012: USA Network Continues Unscripted Push With Mark Burnett Project, 'Bromantic' Comedy


"Survivor" producer Mark Burnett is battling his former business manager over about $70 million.

USA is going around the world and down the wedding aisle as it continues to grow its unscripted offerings.

Ahead of its first upfront presentation to Madison Avenue on Thursday in New York, the NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced that it has ordered to pilot Shed Media's Bride or Best Man, a "bromantic" comedy with a twist that explores what happens when the groom and his best man are left in charge of planning a couple's wedding.

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In addition, USA has put into development Mark Burnett's Romancing the Globe, a dating series that crosses the world as contestants search for love that could ultimately lead to betrayal. Burnett will exec produce through his One Three Media banner.

The two entries join a growing reality slate that continues to add heft as co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber usher the No. 1 cable network into the arena of unscripted fare in a bid to expand its largely blue-skies drama brand.

"One of the things that Chris and I have come to together and enunciated internally is that one thing that you can’t do is maintain success. If you sit on your lead, you lose your lead," Wachtel told The Hollywood Reporter in November of the inspiration to broaden its schedule beyond its hit dramas, which include Burn Notice, Covert Affairs and new entry Suits.

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In January, USA picked up nine episodes of its first reality entry, The Moment, a weekly series hosted by former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner as he gives contestants a second chance to pursue the high-profile careers they've always wanted, including race car driving and deep sea diving. Justin Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol of the Hochberg Ebersol Co. produce.

In addition, the cabler will put the spotlight on musical performances with The Choir, in which U.K. choirmaster Gareth Malone assembles a choir comprised of an unexpected mix of individuals in a bid to highlight the transformative power of music. Shed Media produces.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit