USA Strategic Opportunities - July 2008

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STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES

It's especially challenging to break into the schedule for USA.  USA is dominated by off-net LAW & ORDER: CI and SVU, movies, WWE wrestling, and hit original series such as THE BURN NOTICE, MONK, PSYCH, LAW & ORDER: CI and IN PLAIN SIGHT. The net has made its bed for the near future.

ORIGINAL:

USA has been on a roll with hit original series.  They are always looking for the next one!

ACQUIRED:

Openings in the prime schedule are few and far between.  Bring only your biggest, proven commodities.

PROGRAM SUBMISSION PROCESS:

USA does not accept unsolicited submissions.  Your best bet is to get yourself a lawyer or agent.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:


USA continues to lead the pack in blurring the lines between cable and broadcast.

Their total viewer numbers are closer to CW than to TNT, and they consistently try to position themselves against the broadcast nets. Their stated goal is to be the first cable network to harvest more primetime viewers, on average, than a broadcast network. According to Nielsen, USA came within about 100,000 viewers of topping the CW in 2007. President Bonnie Hammer's prediction for 2008? "Excuse me, CW, but move over," she says. "Because here we come." (Variety)

In addition, USA has reversed the typical network to cable flow -- reruns of USA's original series LAW & ORDER: CI air on NBC. There was a brief trial where encores of MONK and PSYCH ran on NBC in Sunday night primetime.  And after NASHVILLE STAR was declared "off-brand" for USA, NBC picked it up.

What network President Bonnie Hammer looks for in original series is upbeat, blue-skies action thrillers and procedurals. "We don't rule out a bit of edginess, but you won't see anything that's dark or bleak." They tend to go for strong, quirky characters and stories, rarely non-fiction. USA has also expressed a desire to produce series with compelling female characters.

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