USA has renewed spy drama Covert Affairs for a fifth season with a 16-episode order. The recent summer portion of the show’s fourth season ranked among summer’s top 10 cable scripted shows, with nearly 4 million total viewers (3.955MM). “No other series on television travels the globe to tell a story like Covert Affairs, and we are pleased to bring it back for another season” said USA president Chris McCumber. “With its intricate storytelling, diverse characters and authentic locations, the series continues to be a cornerstone in our line-up of USA’s original signature dramas.” Season four of Covert Affairs, from UCP and Hypnotic, continues on October 17 following the season premiere of White Collar.
English dancer and actress Seeta Indrani (Broken) and Richard Short (666 Park Avenue) are set for arcs on USA’s spy drama Covert Affairs. Indrani will play Sana, a beautiful and sophisticated Indian woman whom Annie (Piper Perabo) befriends in the hopes that she may be the key to bringing Henry (Henry Wilcox) down for good. Short will take on the role of Reese, a charming Irish rocker-type who becomes entangled in Annie’s world.
Greta Lee (Girls, Inside Amy Schumer) has been added to Fox’s event series Wayward Pines. She will play Ruby, the barista at the only coffee shop in Wayward Pines, who not only is a daily presence in everybody’s morning, but also knows everybody’s business. Repped by manager Russell Gregory and attorney Kimberly Jaime.
Workaholics‘ Anders Holm is joining Fox‘s comedy series The Mindy Project as a new love interest for Mindy (Mindy Kaling). In a four-episode arc, Holm will play Casey, a charismatic, altruistic, and popular Lutheran pastor in New York City who is so cool he has a DJ at his church services. When Casey and Mindy first meet, he manages to both attract her and get under her skin at the same time — soon after, they begin dating. Holm’s first episode airs in early April. Holm, repped by Avalon, UTA and attorney Jeffrey Endlich, is one of the stars/writers/producers behind Comedy Central’s hit Workaholics, now in its third season and recently renewed for seasons 4 and 5.
Popular Latin American actor Manolo Cardona has been cast in a multi-episode recurring guest arc on USA‘s spy drama Covert Affairs starring Piper Perabo. The Colombian-born Cardona will play Teo Braga, an enigmatic Colombian rebel leader. Brilliant and brooding, Teo harbors secrets about his past that will affect Annie (Perabo), Auggie and other members of the CIA profoundly. The stint reunites Cardona, repped by D2 Management, with Perabo — they co-starred in Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It also expands Cardona’s relationship with USA and Covert Affairs producers Universal Cable Prods. and Hypnotic which also recently cast him in the untitled Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci pilot.
CSI: NY‘s Hill Harper is joining the upcoming fourth season of of USA’s drama series Covert Affairs as a new series regular alongside Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett and Peter Gallagher. CSI:NY’s ninth season finale airs tonight on CBS, and by most accounts it will be a series finale as the CSI spinoff appears unlikely to return. CBS has not made a final decision, but I hear Harper’s deal was up at the end of this season, and he is moving on. He looked at a number of options, including pilots, but I hear he wanted to join a cable series that is on the air. Harper is a fan of Covert Affairs, and shares a bond with its creators Matt Corman and Chris Ord as all three went to Brown University.
EXCLUSIVE: In their first overall deal, Matt Corman and Chris Ord, creators/executive producers of USA Network’s hit globe-trotting spy drama Covert Affairs, have inked a pact with the studio behind the series, Universal Cable Prods. The writing partners will continue to shepherd Covert Affairs, which has been renewed for a fourth season, as they have been since day one. In addition to their duties on the show starring Piper Perabo, under their UCP pact the duo will also develop series for cable and broadcast networks. They’ll work closely with UCP’s development team – SVPs Richard Rothstein and Maira Suro and VP Tom Lieber – who oversee the studio’s series for USA, external networks and Syfy, respectively. “From day one, we have had a fantastic relationship with Matt and Chris,” Rothstein said. “They are terrific storytellers who have found a unique way to infuse the action genre with subtle insight that makes Covert Affairs such a rewarding experience, and that is the reason we are so excited to have them create the next UCP hit.”
Corman and Ord have been a writing team since attending Brown University together. On the feature side, they co-wrote the 2006 film Deck The Halls. They are with CAA and Michael Schenkman. “Since we began Covert Affairs, the creative process with our UCP and USA partners has been a joy, and we are thrilled to be continuing and expanding our collaboration with our studio family,” …
Three days into the astronomical fall, USA Network has made the first renewal decision on its summer series, picking up additional seasons of established performers Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. For Royal Pains, the pickup is for 26 episodes across two additional seasons, the show’s fifth and sixth. White Collar and Covert Affairs have each received a 16-episode renewal for a fifth and fourth season, respectively. “In an increasingly competitive landscape, these series got new season pickups the old-fashioned way – they earned it,” said USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. The move comes as USA wrapped a seventh consecutive summer as the No. 1 cable network across all key demos.
Jay Karnes has booked a four-episode arc on new ABC submarine drama Last Resort. Karnes, repped by Greene & Associates, will play Secretary of Defense William Curry, a shadowy figure who may be behind the attack on the USS Colorado. Karnes will next be seen in the pilot for USA’ Graceland.
Christine Woods is set for a guest arc on NBC’s new comedy Go On, about a guy (Matthew Perry) recovering from the death of his wife with the help of a support group. Woods, repped by Gersh and Emery Entertainment, will play his dead wife in flashbacks. She most recently starred in the NBC multi-camera pilot Daddy’s Girls this past season.
Tim Griffin (NBC’s Prime Suspect) has been cast in a recurring arc on USA Network’s spy drama Covert Affairs. Griffin, repped by Pakula/King and Untitled, will play Seth Newman, a former field operative-turned-lawyer who will work for the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General and who has a history with Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett).
David Costabile has landed a big new recurring role on the upcoming season of USA Network’s breakout series Suits. He will play Jessica (Gina Torres) and Harvey’s (Gabriel Macht) former managing partner Daniel Hardman, a brilliant lawyer who, following the death of his wife, returns to the firm, which had been run by Jessica in his absence. In another major boss addition to a USA series, Rebecca Creskoff (Hung) has joined the upcoming season of CIA drama Covert Affairs, playing Annie’s (Piper Peribo) new boss/mentor. She is with Innovative and Steven Levy.
Mahershala Ali has been added to the cast of David Fincher’s Netflix drama series House Of Cards. The political thriller stars Kevin Spacey as Rep. Frank Underwood, the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives who after being passed over for Secretary of State hatches a plot to bring down the new president. Ali, repped by IFA and manager Carolyn Govers, will play successful lobbyist Remy Danton. Ali, who is also recurring on Alphas and Treme, will next be seen in the feature The Place Beyond The Pines.
All My Children creator Agnes Nixon will appear on the daytime drama, which is nearing the end of its run on ABC. In an arc starting Aug. 31, she will reprise her role as Agnes Eckhart, a long-standing board member of Pine Valley Hospital, which she created for herself in 2005 when she first appeared on the show as part of its 35th anniversary. This time around, Eckhart is admitted to Pine Valley Hospital, where Cara (Lindsay Hartley) and David (Vincent Irizarry) tend to her. She also crosses paths with Erica Kane (Susan Lucci).
Another soap veteran, The Young and the Restless regular Michael Graziadei, has booked a recurring role on FX’s upcoming drama series American Horror Story. The thriller, from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck, is about a couple (Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton) moving into a 1920s house and their new nosy neighbor Constance (Jessica Lange). Graziadei, repped by Innovative and Main Title, will play Constance’s new, young boyfriend.
This year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama Series will continue cable’s dominance in this most prestigious category. Cable claimed 10 of the 13 nomination spots over the past two years, and 13 of 19 since 2008. By contrast, cable earned a mere nine nods combined in the seven years between 2001 and 2007 when the networks still ruled. The shift from broadcast is so extreme in 2011 that CBS’ The Good Wife is considered the only network series with a solid shot to earn its second nomination in as many years. (Though not in that league, NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, NBC’s Parenthood, and CBS’ Blue Bloods deserve consideration while ABC has entered a rebuilding phase.) The sad reality is that the broadcast networks, which just signed a new eight-year deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to carry the Emmys, are facing a possible first-ever shutout from the top drama series category. That’s because of the continuing strength and ambition of programming on cable — in particular, HBO in a return to form, and AMC still on a roll.
HBO’s Prohibition-era hourlong Boardwalk Empire drew the most critical attention this Emmy season because of its pedigreed producer team, headed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and creator/showrunner Terence Winter, a Sopranos alum. How interesting that the pay channel’s expensive serial will compete against another period drama from that other Sopranos alum Matt Weiner. AMC’s first acclaimed original series, Mad Men, has won this category three years running and is bidding this year to be the first series to win four in a row since NBC’s The West Wing (2000- 2003). Though the frontrunner, Mad Men could be hurt by a long hiatus.
AMC has seized the mantle from HBO as TV’s preeminent quality-drama purveyor with a pair of newcomers that could crack the series field this year: the zombie-themed hour The Walking Dead, and the dark murder mystery The Killing. Even though two-time category nominee Breaking Bad is not eligible for 2011, AMC could still land three nods, becoming the first network in 10 years to do so in this category, after NBC scored the hat trick in 2001 with The West Wing, ER, and Law & Order. No cable network has ever managed the feat to date.
And then there’s Showtime, whose Dexter is in the running for its fourth consecutive Outstanding Drama nomination, along with first-season Shameless. FX is pushing its increasingly buzzed-about Western, Justified and, to a lesser extent, Sons Of Anarchy. TNT wants attention for The Closer, Men Of A Certain Age, and Southland. USA is pressing Covert Affairs and White Collar. Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s drama series in alphabetical order:
USA Network is taking to movie theaters to promote its Tuesday night pair of White Collar and Covert Affairs, which return June 7. Here is an exclusive look at the trailer, which will be unspooled on 2,484 screens across the country this weekend, running before such tentpole movies as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and X Men: First Class. The trailer, which largely aims to introduce the shows to people who haven’t seen them, will screen in theaters from May 27 to June 9.
While the broadcast networks are largely retreating from original scripted programming this summer, leading cable network USA is prepping its largest original series summer slate with eight series: newbies Suits (aka A Legal Mind) and Necessary Roughness and returning shows White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and the the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. USA will use its biggest shows, Burn Notice and Royal Pains, to launch its new series, Suits and Necessary Roughness, respectively. Additionally, the network’s first reality series in five years, WWE Tough Enough, will continue to air on Monday, bringing the total of USA’s original summer series to nine and its nights of originals to five. Interestingly, Friday, where USA launched its scripted ascent, is staying dark. Network chief Jeff Wachtel had indicated that reclaiming the night was a priority. Missing from the summer schedule is veteran Psych, which won’t return until the fall. Here is USA’s original summer lineup with premiere dates (new series in bold):
USA Network’s hot freshman series Covert Affairs has been renewed for a second season a month into its run. The news comes on the heels of the spy drama hitting series highs across the board on Tuesday, including total viewers (5.4 million, up 4% from last week), adults 18-49 (2.3 million, up 15%) The number of episodes has not been determined yet but is expected to be in the 13-16 range.
The series starring Piper Perabo has been growing consistently since its July 13 premiere, which drew 4.9 million viewers, 2.104 million of them in the adults 18-49, making Covert Affairs the highest-rated scripted cable premiere this year in the key demographic. It has remained the No.1 cable series of the year among 18-49 (2.52 million).
Covert Affairs is the second hot cable freshman this summer to get a quick renewal, following the recent pickup of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles. It also continues USA’s streak of renewing its first-year series. Last year, both USA freshman series, Royal Pains and White Collar, were picked up. One of them, White Collar, was used as a lead-in to launch Covert Affairs this summer.
Covert Affairs is produced by Universal Cable Prods. and executive produced by Doug Liman and Dave Bartis through Dutch Oven and written and co-executive produced by Matt Corman and Chris Ord. James Parriott serves as executive producer with Jonathan Glassner as co-executive producer. Co-starring opposite Perabo are Christopher Gorham, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Peter …