USA Network’s entire programming lineup is returning next year: The network has just renewed “Royal Pains,” “White Collar” and “Psych” for another season.
The network previously agreed to bring back “In Plain Sight,” “Burn Notice,” “Covert Affairs” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
“It’s a wonderful validation that the shows are working,” said USA programming president Jeff Wachtel.
With seven returning dramas, USA is close to having a stable of successful hour-long shows that equals some broadcast networks. Though USA expects to once again launch one or two new dramas next year, executives plan to expand into new genres, such as comedy and unscripted programming, to help broaden the lineup.
“Though its lovely to celebrate success, it also allows us to push out — you don’t want to alienate your base, but you don’t want to sit still,” he said.
Even if the network reaches its broad-spectrum goals, Wachtel expects USA to continue feeling like a cable enterprise rather than a broadcast network.
“In our early days, original programming was seen as an elective,” he said. “It’s not an elective anymore, but it’s also not an imperitive to fill time slots. We’re still able to be more hand-crafted. We’re not going to get to the point of, ‘oh my god, we need a comedy block on Monday nights.’ It’s still going to remain ‘no show before its time.'”
“Royal Pains” will return for 16 to 18 episodes, more likely 18, which helps the network split the show’s season into two uninterrupted runs. The show was second only to its “Burn Notice” lead-in for delivering adults 18-49 this summer among scripted shows (3.5 million in the demo). “White Collar” will get 16 episodes and drew 2.3 million in the demo. “Psych” will also receive 16 episodes, and ranked as the summer’s top scripted show on cable Wednesday nights in the demo (2.3 million).
“Royal Pains” and “Psych” are from Universal Cable Productions; “White Collar” is Fox TV Studios.