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USA Network Picks Up Two New Series

Nellie Andreeva

USA Network is maintaining its perfect batting average in pilot-to-series pickups, ordering both A Legal Mind and Necessary Roughness to series. Both projects have been given 11-episode orders in addition to the 90-minute pilots. Last year, USA ordered a total of 6 pilots in two batches of 3 each, Necessary Roughness, A Legal Mind and Common Law, followed by Wild Card, Eden and Over/Under. Because of casting issues, Common Law was delayed, so of the first group, Necessary Roughness and A Legal Mind were completed and delivered together. Word was USA brass were looking to pick one of them up to series, but the network ended up ordering both. The decision was easy, USA’s president of original programming Jeff Wachtel said. “We were so pleased, we said right away: we’re making both shows.”

A Legal Mind, which has an odd pairing at its center reminiscent of USA’s White Collar, centers on a top Manhattan corporate lawyer (Gabriel Macht) who recruits a brilliant but unmotivated college dropout (Patrick J. Adams) as a new associate. “A Legal Mind is a little edger than our other shows, with the characters starting at a place where they are not immediately redeemable,” Wachtel said. Universal Cable Prods. is producing the show, which co-stars Meghan Markle, Gina Torres and Rick Hoffman. Aaron Korsh created the series and is co-executive producing, with Hypnotic’s Doug Liman and David Bartis executive producing. Kevin Bray directed the pilot. Read More »

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Pilot Castings: Mehcad Brooks Joins USA’s ‘Roughness’, Trio Added To Lifetime’s ‘Wall’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Mehcad Brooks has become the first actor from a cancelled fall series to line up a new pilot gig. Brooks, who had been in demand since the cancellation of ABC’s My Generation, has been tapped to co-star on USA Network’s pilot Necessary Roughness. Meanwhile, Marisa Ramirez, Brandon Quinn and and Chris Johnson have joined Lifetime’s pilot Against the Wall. Roughness, from Sony TV, centers on tough, sexy Long Island divorcee Danielle Santino (Callie Thorne), who, to make ends meet, becomes the therapist for a professional football team and quickly becomes sought after by other athletes, musicians, politicians and those living in the spotlight. Brooks will play one of her clients: a star wide receiver for the Hawks who has been unable to hold onto the ball recently while regularly getting into trouble with the law. Initially pissed about being forced into counseling with Dani, he winds up bonding closely with her. Brooks, who had a memorable season-long arc on HBO’s True Blood as Eggs, is repped by Innovative and Mosaic. Read More »

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TV Castings: Scott Cohen Boards USA Pilot & Sara Rue Joins ‘Rules Of Engagement’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Cohen will co-star opposite Callie Thorne in the USA pilot Necessary Roughness. Meanwhile, Sara Rue has joined CBS’ comedy series Rules of Engagement as a recurring, with Joan Collins tapped for a key guest spot on the CBS sitcom. Both Roughness and Rules are produced by Sony TV.

Roughness centers on tough, sexy Long Island divorcee Danielle Santino (Thorne), who, to make ends meet, becomes the therapist for a professional football team and quickly becomes sought after by other athletes, musicians, politicians and those living in the spotlight. Cohen, repped by Gersh and One Management, will play a “fixer” for a football franchise who works closely with Danielle. Read More »

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USA And Lifetime Pilots Find Their Leads

Nellie Andreeva

Rescue Me co-star Callie Thorne is staying on the cable series beat as the lead on the USA Network pilot Necessary Roughness. Meanwhile, Australian actress Rachael Carpani has landed the central role in another cable pilot with a female lead, Lifetime’s Against the Wall. Read More »

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