With Burn Notice having completed its run and Psych set to end next season, USA Network is beefing up on its drama development. The cable network has ordered three new drama pilots; Complications from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, The Novice from Hell On Wheels creators Joe and Tony Gayton, and Rush from Warm Bodies writer and helmer Jonathan Levine.
Created by Matt Nix, Complications is described as a gritty medical drama which centers around John Ellis, a disillusioned suburban ER doctor, who finds his existence transformed when he intervenes in a drive-by shooting, saving a young boy’s life and killing one of his attackers. When he learns the boy is still marked for death he finds himself compelled to save him at any cost and discovers that his life and his outlook on medicine may never be the same. Fox Television Studios is producing with Nix serving as the executive producer.
Penned by Hell On Wheels creators Joe and Tony Gayton, The Novice tells the story of a young man who finds that his true calling may be a life of crime. After repeatedly trying to break into corporate America, Kyle Jones returns home to his economically struggling family and his high school restaurant job, but minimum wage isn’t going to help with his family”s debt. So, while it is out of necessity that he seizes an unexpected opportunity to make money with a Korean crime family, it appears that this new life may have its perks as well. Fox 21 is producing with Matt Ochacher, Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy and Becky Clements serving as executive producers.
From a creative team consisting of Jonathan Levine, Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo, Rush tells the story of Dr William Rush. He’s not your average on-call doctor — he’s not attached to any hospital, he’s highly discreet no matter what the ailment as long as the client can pay his cash-only premium and the doctor can party with the best of them. He has no desire to change his life or how he lives it, until an old flame and his conscience begin to stir things up. Fox 21 is producing.
These pick pilot ups come at a time of change for USA Network. Jeff Wachtel recently exited the network to become President and Chief Content Officer of NBCU Cable Entertainment, resulting in Chris McCumber being elevated to being the network’s sole president. USA Network is also preparing to launch their first original comedy series in more than a decade and are eyeing grittier drama series, such as the recently renewed Graceland, rather that the so-called “blue sky” dramas (such as Monk and Psych) that have defined the network’s original output in recent years.