LOWDOWN ON THE UPFRONT: USA Event Attracts Lots of ‘Characters’

New York – USA Network literally welcomed its odd cast of characters to its upfront presentation Wednesday, where stars ranging from World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers to Emmy winners Tony Shalhoub and Debra Messing rubbed shoulders.

USA talent, on display in this photo series, showed up in abundance at the event at The Modern, where Bonnie Hammer was accepting congratulations for her big promotion this week to the newly created post of NBC Universal’s president of Cable Entertainment and Cable Studio.

Hammer, who branded USA with the “Characters Welcome” tagline, was introduced at the festivities by Shalhoub, the star of the hit Monk, and Messing, who is reprising her role in The Starter Wife, which is coming to USA as a 10-episode series in October.

Cast members from not only Monk but Psych, Monday Night Raw, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the new scripted show In Plain Sight all cheered Hammer on during her remarks.

“USA is on a roll,” she said. “Right now, CW is trailing us by double digits…We got more Emmy nominations than we’ve ever had in USA’s history. Not too shabby, I would say.”

After the usual upfront sales pitch from USA marketing and ad sales executives, who repeatedly touted the network’s own new buzzword – “brandwidth”—Hammer returned to the podium.

“OK guys, I think we got the concept of brandwidth,” she said. “I think we got the brand. I think we got the spin. So let’s just go and Par-TAY.”

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