USA Network has ordered the first scripted comedies in its history, executives announced Thursday before the channel’s annual upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
Known for its dramas, mostly ones that all vaguely look and sound the same — “Burn Notice,” “White Collar,” “Covert Affairs,” etc. — the network will debut two comedy series in the first quarter of 2014. That’s right after USA starts airing syndicated reruns of ABC’s “Modern Family” (premiering Sept. 24), which the network will use to launch the new comedy prospects, “Sirens” and “Playing House.”
Based on a UK format, “Sirens,” executive produced by Denis Leary, is about three EMTs in Chicago who are described as “silly, self-righteous and even self-destructive” — but hey, when it comes time to saving someone in an ambulance, they pull it together.
Then, actresses Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham get another chance at sitcom fame, as their first attempt — “Best Friends Forever” — was canceled after about a minute on NBC. This comedy doesnt’t sound too wildly different, as “Playing House” is about two reunited BFFs, who come back together when a mother-to-be (Parham) asks single and career-driven Emma (St. Clair) to come home from her job overseas to attend her baby shower — and a surprise will be waiting.
The network has also given a pilot order to single-camera comedy “Love is Dead,” about a unique — or, you know, sociopathic — company that specializes in breaking up romantic relationships on behalf of a third party. Adapted from a French short film of the same name, it’s executive produced by Zev Borow (“Chuck”).
In addition, USA announced that it will start a daytime programming block from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cat Greenleaf will host NBC’s “Talk Stoop,” which already airs in local markets, but makes the jump to USA later this year.
Read more about the 2013 upfronts:
Video: A look at CW’s new series
Blog: CW’s 2013-2014 schedule
Video: A look at CBS’s new series
Blog: CBS’s 2013-2014 schedule
Video: A look at ABC’s new series
Blog: ABC’s 2013-2014 schedule
Video: A look at Fox’s new series
Blog: Fox’s 2013-2014 schedule
Video: A look at NBC’s new series
Blog: NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule