USA Unveils New "Characters" at Upfront


An FBI negotiator-turned therapist, a fashionista-turned detective and a working drone-turned rookie cop are all "characters" on a new slate of projects in development for USA Network.

The No. 1 basic cable channel, whose tagline is "characters welcome," unveiled a list of shows in the works at an upfront presentation to advertisers and press Wednesday at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The new pilot scripts were announced by  Jeff Wachtel, USA’s executive VP, original programming. 

The Negotiator, from Executive Producer Donald De Line (The Stepford Wives, The Italian Job), focuses on an FBI agent who becomes a relationship counselor when his brashness clashes with management. Also touching on the FBI is Family Values, the saga about a group of agents who go undercover as a suburban clan to solve national security cases. The show is from writer David Titcher and producer Kevin Brown (Roswell).

Spying in High Heels, from producer Larry Shuman and Executive Producer/writer Sara Endsley, chronicles a fashion-crazed chick and her out-of-work actress friend who open a detective agency in a hair salon. American Girl, from Executive Producer Toni Graphia (Battlestar Galactica), tells the story of a Wal-Mart greeter who becomes emboldened after surviving an in-store robbery at gunpoint. The Oldest Rookie, from writer Patrick Wiegers, follows a 43-year-old family man who trades his professional life to be a cop.

The new slate builds upon USA's successful originals including The 4400, The Dead Zone, Psych and Monk and upcoming summer shows including The Starter Wife.

USA averaged 2.79 million total viewers during prime in February.