usa networkThe cable network issued a news release today from Jeff Wachtel, president, original programming, USA Network and co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions, announcing the development slate of 7 new pilot scripts from Steve Carell (“The Office”), John Michael Higgins (“Best in Show”), and Anthony Edwards (“ER”). Additionally, USA showrunners Steve Franks, creator of PSYCH, and John McNamara, executive producer of IN PLAIN SIGHT, along with FACING KATE writer Jan Nash, are in talks to develop projects, “demonstrating the network’s confidence in its current series collaborators… These new projects all combine strong characters and superior storytelling, offering viewers the kind of exceptionally written, aspirational originals they won’t find anywhere else.” USA’s upcoming slate includes:

A LEGAL MIND
One of Manhattan’s top corporate lawyers goes on a recruiting trip and hires the only guy that impresses him, a brilliant but unmotivated college dropout. This early twenty something has barely coasted through life on his natural intelligence and copious amounts of marijuana. Now, as he impersonates a bright young professional, he might even become a real adult. From writer Aaron Korsh (“The Deep End”) and executive producers David Bartis and Gene Klein of Dutch Oven. From Universal Cable Productions.

ROBYN
After her financier father’s fraudulent dealings are exposed, a young woman realizes she’s done nothing substantial with her own life. Initially attempting to be a do-gooder, she finds it much more satisfying (and effective) to rip off the decadent upper class. Rather than keep the proceeds for herself, though, she redistributes the wealth by giving it to the exploited underclass. Becky Hartman Edwards (“Parenthood,” “Life On Mars”) is the executive producer/writer. From Universal Cable Productions.

GAY WALCH PROJECT
Karyn Burke, a suburban supermom to three kids, wakes up one morning and finds her husband has left town because he was in too deep to mob boss Tommy. Now, Karen’s left to clean up his mess by paying off her husband’s gambling debt and becoming Tommy’s new “fixer.” It’s just one more priority on her weekly to do list. Executive producer is Burrad Marsh (Shed Media) and Gay Walch (“Summerland”) is writer. From Universal Cable Productions.

STICK
Chris “Stick” Blake is a player in the NHL prominently featured in the majority of the top 10 hockey fights on YouTube. He just got suspended from his team, and now has to attend court ordered anger management classes. He’s not a bad guy… he just loses it when people are bullied. After an old friend shows up with a life-threatening problem, Stick focuses his considerable energies on solving it and discovers a new line of work—helping people that the law can’t. From writers Mark Altman & Steve Kriozere (“Castle”) and Executive Producers Steve Stark (“Medium,” “Girlfriends”) and Russ Buchholz (FACING KATE). From Universal Cable Productions.

UNTITLED JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS / INSURANCE ADJUSTER PROJECT
From Steve Carell (“The Office”) and John Michael Higgins (“Best in Show”), this project is about Bob Welsh, a crusading middle class insurance investigator who proves that sometimes the dullest jobs are the most exciting as he ferrets out high stakes dramas. Higgins writes with Margaret Higgins. Joining Carell (Carousel Television) as executive producer is Thom Hinkle (“Rockford Files”). From Universal Cable Productions. From Universal Cable Productions.

UNTITLED CULLEN BROTHERS PROJECT
Two estranged brothers end up on the same FBI task force. One brother is a by-the-book profiler who lived in his brother’s shadow. The other is a shoot-first-ask-questions later type who must now report to his brother. Executive Producers are Dave Broome (“Biggest Loser”) and Steven Burnett from 25/7 Productions. Aaron Kaplan (“Funny in Farsi”, “You Me and Dupree”), Jim Clemente (“Criminal Minds”) and Tim Clemente (“Copout,” “Heist”) also executive produce. Writers are Mark Cullen and Rob Cullen (“Las Vegas”). From Universal Cable Productions.

THE VELVET HAMMER
Houston-native Candy Carter returns home but she’s not the same Texas debutante who left – she has two kids, she’s divorced and she’s an FBI agent. Back home, she uses her brains and beauty to help out her fellow proud Texans while getting back in touch with her Southern roots. From writers Gail Gilchriest and Kevin Murphy, executive producers Anthony Edwards (“ER”) and Cheryl Dolins of Grand Central Entertainment with CBS Television Studios.

USA is the home to eight original scripted series: BURN NOTICE, ROYAL PAINS, WHITE COLLAR, PSYCH, IN PLAIN SIGHT, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, this summer’s COVERT AFFAIRS and FACING KATE, which will air this fall.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.