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 air. Meanwhile, Burn Notice is the latest USA summer series to get a renewal, along with recently picked up Suits, Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. Its 13-episode pickup is smaller than the 16-episode Seasons 2 and 3 and 18-episode Seasons 4,5 and 6. USA also recently gave a 26-episode renewal across 2 seasons to veteran Royal Pains after several supersized seasons.
USA’s renewed shows will be joined next summer by Graceland, the new series from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. Production on that series, starring Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit, is starting this week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla with Serinda Swan joining in a recurring role.
After two and a half years, USA Networks’ originals are back on Friday night. The second season of network’s Fairly Legal and the fifth and final cycle of In Plain Sight will air on the night starting March 16. For … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Johnson (Ghost Rider) has joined USA Network’s drama Fairly Legal as a new regular for Season 2. On the series starring Sarah Shahi as lawyer-turned-mediator Kate Reed, Johnson will play Ben Grogan, a sharp, up-and-coming trial attorney with … Read More »
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 … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Fairly Legal creator Michael Sardo has stepped down as executive producer and showrunner of the USA Network dramedy. Former Pushing Daisies executive producer Peter Ocko has been tapped as the new exec producer/showrunner on the series for its upcoming second season.
The changeover is part of USA’s plan for creative changes on Fairly Legal going into Season 2. When USA recently renewed the freshman series, the network’s co-president Jeff Wachtel indicated that the decision was based on the show’s appealing star, Sarah Shahi, and its potential but noted that there is room for improvement. “We think there is a creative and audience upside to the show,” Wachtel said back then. “Not every first season is the best, and we think it is a show that can do better.” While a solid performer — Fairly Legal launched as the top new cable drama of the year in adults 18-49 and has averaged a 4.6 million total viewers in Live+7 — the legal dramedy was not a breakout hit like most of USA’s recent series. Fairly Legal producer Universal Cable Prods is currently negotiating with Sardo about a potential future role on the show. Sardo is behind another high-profile UCP project — he is the creator/executive producer of the studio’s pilot Normal (formerly untitled Michael Sardo) for Lifetime. The drama pilot starring Carrie-Anne Moss is in contention for a series pickup at the cable network, with Sardo set to executive produce. (Additionally, Sardo serves as an exec producer on America’s Smartest Kids, a realty show in development at USA/UCP sibling Syfy). Read More »
USA is keeping its streak of renewing every new series alive with a second-season pickup for Fairly Legal. The top cable network will make the announcement at its upfront presentation in New York later today. Production on 13 new episodes … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After a two-year run as an independent producer, Steve Stark has signed an overall deal with Universal Media Studios. He is already in business with the studio on the freshman UMS drama series for NBC The Event, which he brought to the network and is now executive producing. He also has a long-standing relation with NBC through the Grammnet/CBS Studios-produced Medium, on which he serves as an executive producer. The supernatural crime drama started off on NBC where it aired for 5 seasons before moving to CBS. Additionally, Stark is executive producing the upcoming USA light legal drama Fairly Legal. Read More »
USA’s newest series Fairly Legal (formerly Facing Kate) will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 10 PM. It will follow the winter cycle debut of Royal Pains, which will serve as its lead-in. Original episodes of White Collar will … Read More »