USA Unveils Character Development


Twentysomething party dudes on in Iraq, a tennis instructor at a tropical resort, an unlucky dater with an assassin for a dad, and a "terminated" spy are some of the "characters" with new shows in development at USA Network.

The "Characters Welcome" cable network Tuesday announced three new series and one limited series in development, along with two new reality series being developed as companions to its popular WWE wrestling programming.

The NBC Universal-owned network also unveiled plans to develop and produce action movies to complement the action of its wrestling franchise.

On the scripted series front, USA is developing Stuck in Paradise, an hour series about a man who ends up stuck teaching tennis at a tropical resort after he signs up for the job on a spur-of-the-moment decision; To Love and Die in LA, an hour series about an unlucky thirtysomething dater who finds out the dad she never knew is an assassin; and Burn Notice, another hour series about a spy who is dead-set on finding out why he was terminated.

The network is also developing the six-hour limited series Peace Out, about two twentysomething guys who travel to Baghdad in search of adventure.

USA is also developing reality series and movies to serve as companion pieces to its wildly popular WWE Monday Night Raw wrestling programming.

Reality series include the previously announced Ebaum's World, as well as Turf, an hour-long pilot about street-racing, and The Capper, a pilot about a professional handicapper looking for legal sports and pop culture events to bet on.

Movies include Hunting Rabbets, about brothers named Rabbet who own a struggling reposession business; Crush, about an ex-bodyguard hired by a rich CEO to protect his daughter; and The Last Tough Guy, about an ex-stunt guy investigating the murder of his mentor.

Wrestling has helped catapult USA to the top of the cable ratings in recent months. The network was the number one cable network during the first quarter and is slated to bring back popular original series Monk, The Dead Zone and The 4400 this summer. It will also launch new hour dramedy Psych after Monk this July.

The network, which rebranded itself last year with the "Characters Welcome" tagline, previously announced production has begun on Underfunded, an hour drama about a Canadian secret service agent; In Plain Sight, about a female federal marshall in the witness protection program;andis developing The Starter Wife, a limited series based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer.