About 5 million people tuned in to the premiere telecast of the Burn Notice series finale last night at 9 PM — the USA Network show’s biggest audience in more than a year. That’s 1 million+ viewers stronger than the drama series’ penultimate episode last week. About 1.6 million of the crowd who came to say goodbye after seven seasons were 18-49 year olds. It was the night’s second-most-watched cable program, behind only NFL Network’s New England Patriots vs New York Jets football game — that clocked 8.8 million viewers. In its time slot, Burn Notice‘s swan-song snagged a larger audience than anything on broadcast TV except CBS’ Big Brother. Burn Notice is one of only three USA series to pass the 100-episode mark that makes syndicators so happy, putting it in company with Monk and Psych.
ION just announced that it has picked up two dramas that originated on USA Network: Burn Notice and White Collar. Each show was a top rated scripted cable original series among 25-to-54 year olds on the nights they aired, and ranked among the top 10 dramas for those making $100k+, ION says. They join a line up that includes Psych (originally on USA), Leverage (TNT), and Monk (USA).
‘Burn Notice’s Upcoming 7th Season To Be Its Last, Creator Matt Nix Developing New Series For USA: Video
USA Network‘s flagship drama Burn Notice is coming to an end. The upcoming 13-episode Season 7 of the spy series will be its final one (the network makes it official with the promo below). But USA is staying in business with Burn Notice creator Matt Nix and studio Fox TV Studios. I’ve learned that the network has put in development Complications, which is written/exec produced by Nix and produced by FtvS. It tells the story of an ER doctor whose life changes after he is involved in a gang shooting, when he is forced to explore how active a doctor can be in treating the cause of his patients’ medical problems.
Burn Notice is set to cross the 100-episode mark during its upcoming seventh season, which premieres June 6. “From day one, Burn Notice‘s characters, storylines and mythology have consistently captivated a massive audience, and this final season will raise the stakes even higher, leading up to a spectacular series finale,” said USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber. Joining stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Coby Bell in Season 7 are recurring guest stars Jack Coleman, Adrian Pasdar and Stephen Martines.
USA Network today set a series of return and premiere dates for the summer. Burn Notice will be back for its seventh season on June 6 at 9 PM. The spy drama will be followed that night by the premiere of the new Graceland at 10. Created by White Collar creator/executive producer Jeff Eastin, the one-hour drama chronicles a group of agents from various federal law enforcement departments who are forced to work and live together undercover. Royal Pains is back for a fifth season on June 12 at 9 PM. That’s followed by the Season 3 premiere of Necessary Roughness at 10. Covert Affairs returns for a fourth season on July 16 at 9 PM, with the third season of Suits back the same night at 10. USA also adds a new reality series, with Summer Camp debuting sometime in July. The unscripted series from Allison Grodner, Rich Meehan, Fly on the Wall Entertainment and Sony Pictures TV follows 16 contestants at a lakeside retreat who battle in competitions inspired by classic camp games.
EXCLUSIVE: USA’s Burn Notice is beefing up the cast for the upcoming seventh and potentially final season. Jack Coleman (Heroes) and Stephen Martines (The Closer) have been cast as recurring, while Nick Tarabay is set for a two-episode arc. Production on Season 7, which will mark the series’ 100th episode, begins on Monday in Miami. Coleman, who recurred on The Office for the past two seasons, will play Andrew Strong, a ranking CIA officer who has seen it all. Noble, but also obsessive at times, Strong is a relentless taskmaster who pushes Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) to do whatever it takes to complete the mission. He is with Domain and Framework. Martines plays Carlos Cruz, a swashbuckling bounty hunter and Fiona’s (Gabrielle Anwar) charming new boyfriend. Tarabay, repped by Domain and Medavoy Management, will play Dexter Gamble, a cold-blooded freelance operative.
The deal to renew USA Network‘s veteran Burn Notice, which we reported last week as being negotiated, is now done. Burn Notice has been picked up for a 13-episode seventh season. The size of the pickup is smaller than the 16-episode Season 2 and Season 3 and 18-episode Seasons 4-6. (USA also recently gave a 26-episode two-season order to veteran Royal Pains after several supersized seasons). The renewal will allow Burn Notice to hit the 100-episode mark next year and become only the third series in USA’s history to do so. “Burn Notice is like a fine wine that gets better with age,” said USA Network co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. “Delivering high-octane action, gripping drama and nearly 7 million viewers for the mid-season finale, this veteran series is a proven staple of our portfolio.”
Burn Notice joins fellow recently renewed USA series Suits, Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs as well as the upcoming Graceland, USA’s new series from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. (Veteran Psych is on a different track, with its seventh season set to launch in February). USA recently cancelled sophomore Fairly Legal and freshmen Common Law and Political Animals. The only USA series whose fate is still in limbo is Necessary Roughness.
EXCLUSIVE: USA Network‘s Fairly Legal won’t return for a third season as the network has opted not to continue with the series starring Sarah Shahi. Meanwhile, I hear USA is finalizing a deal for a 13-episode seventh-season pickup of veteran Burn Notice.
USA’s decision to cancel Fairly Legal comes after the network tried revamping the series after its ho-hum first season. USA brass gave the show a second-season renewal based on its appealing star, Shahi, and its potential but stressed that the show needed to get better. There was a showrunner change and casting tweaks on the show, but in the end, the improvements proved not enough to warrant another renewal. Paired with the final season of In Plain Sight, Fairly Legal started its second season with 3.5 million viewers, dropping to 2.5 million by the end of its run. Meanwhile, Shahi just booked a recurring role on freshman NBC drama Chicago Fire. “Sarah Shahi is undoubtedly a star and we’re thrilled she’ll be joining our sister network NBC on Chicago Fire, USA said in a statement to Deadline. “We are proud of Fairly Legal and thank the very talented cast and crew for two fantastic seasons.”
Fairly Legal joins USA freshman Common Law, which also has been cancelled. The future of Necessary Roughness is still up in the …
USA Network has set summer premiere dates for its returning series Royal Pains, Necessary Roughness, Burn Notice, Suits, White Collar and Covert Affairs. Coming out of the gate first are Season 4 of Royal Pains and Season 2 of Necessary Roughness, which will kick things off on June 6 and will air on Wednesday at 9 PM and 10 PM, respectively. The following week, on June 14, Burn Notice returns for Season 6, leading into the second season of Suits, which will once again be paired on Thursdays. Also returning to their regular night, Tuesday, are White Collar Season 4 and Covert Affairs Season 3, which launch on July 10. Yet to get a premiere date is USA’s new 6-episode drama series Political Animals starring Sigourney Weaver.
Chris Caldovino (The Sopranos) has joined the cast of another HBO mob drama, Prohibition-era series Boardwalk Empire, as a recurring. The actor, repped by Momentum Talent and McGowan Management, will play Tonino, a driver and strong arm.
Seth Peterson, who has guest stared on USA’s Burn Notice, playing Michael Westen’s (Jefferey Donovan) troubled brother Nate, is returning to the long-running USA series for his biggest stint to date, a five-episode arc, reprising his role. He is with Ellis Talent Group and McGowan Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Marking his first major feature gig, Burn Notice co-executive producer Craig O’Neill has been set to rewrite Cristo for Warner Bros. A futuristic re-imagining of the Alexandre Dumas revenge classic The Count Of Monte Cristo, Cristo was set up as a spec script by Ian Shorr last summer. The script made the Black List and is being produced by Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park. O’Neill makes his first feature deal shortly after setting up Tin Man, a reinvention of Robocop that’s in development at USA with Fox Television Studios producing. O’Neill’s repped by CAA and Madhouse Entertainment.
USA Network, which is finishing as the No. 1 cable network for a sixth straight year, has long ago secured a place at the big table next to the broadcast networks. Now the top cable network is formalizing its status as a peer to the broadcast nets by holding an upfront presentation and party during the traditional broadcast upfront week in May. USA’s upfront event will take place at the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on the last day of upfront week — Thursday, May 17 — in the evening. After years of private dinners with ad agencies, USA Network held its first upfront presentation at the Tent at Lincoln Center last year on May 2, two weeks before upfront week. The network is moving to a higher-profile time slot and a bigger space this year but plans to keep the emphasis on talent with actors from USA’s original series Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, In Plain Sight, Fairly Legal, Necessary Roughness, Psych, Royal Pains, Suits, White Collar and the upcoming Common Law introducing their shows. USA joins selected few other cable networks — including Turner’s TNT, TBS and Adult Swim and ESPN — that host events during the broadcast upfront week.
EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has promoted Alex Sepiol to SVP Original Scripted Series Programming. He will continue to report to Bill McGoldrick, also SVP, Original Scripted Programming. In 2005, Sepiol brought Burn Notice to the network as a pitch and supervised the development of what would become one of USA’s signature series. He subsequently brought in and developed White Collar, Fairly Legal and USA’s newest hit, Suits. As SVP, Sepiol will continue to oversee production on the four series. He is currently shepherding two recently greenlighted pilots: the untitled Douglas McGrath project, one of two half-hour pilots that mark USA’s foray into comedy, and an untitled hourlong drama by White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. Sepiol also shepherded the development at USA of In Plain Sight, which had been originally set up at UPN, and the day-to-day production through Season 2. “Alex has consistently demonstrated an eye for shows that not only connect with our audience but push the USA brand to new and exciting places,” McGoldrick said. “In his short time as an executive, he has identified and cultivated relationships with some of the most talented writers working in television today.” Sepiol joined USA in the summer of 2001 as assistant to now USA co-president Jeff Wachtel. After a brief hiatus, Sepiol rejoined the network in 2004 and was upped to VP in 2009.
ProSiebenSat.1´s production and distribution company Red Arrow Entertainment Group has acquired a majority stake in manager/producer Mikkel Bondesen’s U.S. production company Fuse. The Denmark-born Bondesen launched his U.S. production company in 2005. Its credits include USA’s Burn Notice and Fox’s The Good Guys, both created by Bondesen’s client Matt Nix, as well as AMC’s The Killing, whose format Bondesen brought to the U.S. from Denmark. All three series have been produced by Fox TV Studios, where Bondesen and Fuse have a first-look deal. Since its January 2010 launch, Red Arrow has been acquiring TV production companies and now owns majority stake in 12 companies spanning eight countries. Its first move in the U.S. was last year’s acquisition of 51% interest in Chris Coelen’s Kinetic Content, which specializes in unscripted series. The Fuse deal gives Red Arrow a similar foothold in the U.S. marketplace on the scripted side. As part of the Fuse deal, Swedish producer Henrik Bastin (ABC’s My Generation) has joined Fuse as partner and CEO and the company’s development executive Kristen Campo has been upped to partner.
LOS ANGELES – The Directors Guild of America this week issued a report analyzing the ethnicity and gender of directors hired to direct primetime episodic television for the 2010-2011 television season. Unfortunately, the statistic reported for Burn Notice incorrectly indicated that Burn Notice did not hire any women or minority directors during the 2010-2011 television season. We have been notified that Burn Notice did in fact hire women or minority directors to direct 2 of its 18 episodes during the 2011 season, which would have changed its percentage from 0% to 11% of all directors for the show’s 2011 season.
The error was based on incomplete information for the 2011 season which was confirmed as accurate by the studio when sent the DGA figures for verification. The DGA has since received information from the studio about additional episodes shot in the 2011 season, which include the 2 episodes shot by women or minority directors.
The DGA regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused, and has corrected the information online and for any future use.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Westen is getting a potential new nemesis – Jere Burns has been tapped for a major recurring role on the hit USA series Burn Notice. In at least 5 and as many as 7 episodes this season, he will play Anson Fullerton, a brilliant but understated clinical psychologist whose specialties in human behavior and experience working with covert agents proves useful in answering many of Michael (Jeffrey Nonovan)’s still looming questions. As a psychologist for the Defense Intelligence Agency, Anson has high-level government clearance and security access.
I’m not sure why MyNetworkTV announces a fall schedule since the “programming service” has no original programming and its lineup only includes reruns of five procedurals – Law & Order: SVU, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Burn Notice and Monk — which will run as a double-bill Monday-Friday next season. Anyway, here is the schedule: