USA reveals four projects


USA Network is developing four character-centered projects for 2008-09, including one revolving around an on-call doctor to the rich and famous and another about a nanny who gets involved in solving her police-chief boss' cases.

Also on the slate are hourlong projects that center on the world's most creative con man as well as a soldier-turned-reluctant small-town mayor.

USA executive vp original programming Jeff Wachtel emphasized that all four fall under the network's "Characters Welcome" brand.

"Our current development slate makes clear that we're committed to strengthening our brand as the 'character network,' " he said.

On the slate:

"White Collar" (working title), from Fox Television Studios and writer/executive producer Jeff Eastin ("Hawaii"), centers on a con man who escapes from maximum-security prison only to be tracked down by his FBI nemesis and used as a consultant to catch other criminals.

"Royal Pains" (working title) focuses on a young doctor who, after losing everything based on one principled decision in the ER, takes a weekend trip to the Hamptons and ends up reviving his career as a concierge doctor to the rich -- though he's not exactly happy about it. The project, executive produced by Rich Frank and Paul Frank, is written by Andrew Lenchewski, who also is co-executive producer. John Rogers is producing.

"Shirleyville" (aka "Welcome Homeland"), from "Close to Home" writers Leo Geter and Jim Leonard, revolves around a soldier who, after two tours of duty in Afghanistan, wants nothing more than to readjust and get reacquainted with his family. But when the mayor suddenly dies, the hometown hero finds himself sworn in as his replacement.

"The Nanny Files," from writer/exec producer Rick Copp ("The Brady Bunch Movie"), centers on a 26-year-old nanny to the children of a widower police chief. Unbeknown to him, she gets involved in solving his cases using the help of her network of other nannies, dog walkers, gardeners and neighbors. Joann Moore ("A Walk on the Moon") is co-exec producer.

The four new projects join several others in the works at USA, including "Thank You for Smoking," "Life Insurance," "American Girl," "The Oldest Rookie," "Halo," "The Expert" and "Citizen's Arrest."