EXCLUSIVE: Meet USA Network’s new leading man. Rescue Me co-star Steven Pasquale has been tapped as the lead of USA Network’s hourlong pilot Over/Under. The project, from Fox TV Studios and Universal Cable Prods., centers on Paul (Pasquale), a day trader with a massive gambling problem who is fired from his job six months after a bad trade costs his firm millions. Shut out of the job market, he and his wife move to Brooklyn. There, Paul finds an unlikely partner, expectant father Marino (Anthony Carrigan), to start a high-end bookie business. Bronwen Hughes is set to direct the pilot from a script by Sheila Callaghan. Pasquale, repped by ICM and Emily Gerson-Saines, is best known for his role as young firefighter Sean Garrity on the FX drama Rescue Me, which is wrapping its seven-season this summer. On stage, he co-starred in Neil LaBute’s reasons to be pretty on Broadway and is about to open in Tony Kushner’s new play The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at New York’s Public Theater.
USA Network has handed out cast-contingent pilot orders to three more hourlong projects, Eden, about a resourceful young hotel concierge, Wild Card, about 2 very different lawyers in Las Vegas, and Over/Under, about an ex-day trader with a gambling problem who starts a new life. That is addition to the 3 pilots the cable network has in various stages of production or pre-production, Necessary Roughness, Common Law and A Legal Mind, bringing the total number of pilots to 6, the most ever for USA in a calendar year. ”The company is investing in our success,” said USA president of original programming Jeff Wachtel, who noted that USA is projected to top the cable ratings for a fifth year in a row despite increased competition. “We’re fighting to stay No.1, and we have to step up our game. You do that by building up your portfolio, pushing out with a little more volume and moving outside your comfort zone by pushing with genre and tone.” He said that all 6 new pilots have ”a little bit more bite, more edge to them but are still very much in our sweet spot.”