New York —With the upfront season nearing its conclusion, USA Network and A&E Networks last
week rolled out new series and event programming production plans for 2010-11.
USA, basic cable’s most-watched network, greenlit several half-hour comedies to go along with its
eight existing hour-long scripted dramas. New comedy series include On We Go, Big in Japan, House of
Cards and We the Jury, the network said on May 2.
The “Characters Welcome” network commissioned a second season of drama series Fairly Legal and
will produce eight new drama pilots.
At A&E Networks, new unscripted series and event programming for History, A&E and Lifetime were
unveiled on May 4.
History green-lighted three new reality/documentary series: Invention USA, Full Metal Jousting and
United Stats of America. Also in development at History are miniseries The Men Who Built America and
specials History of the World in Two Hours, 9/12: The Day After, and Vietnam in HD.
A&E ordered eight episodes of the spinoff series Storage Wars: Dallas as part of a plan to launch 10 new
unscripted series in 2011. Other new series for 2011 include InLaws, Ship Happens and Boar Hunters.
A&E green-lighted scripted drama Coma, a multi-night TV event from executive producers Ridley and
Tony Scott that is a modern retelling of the Robin Cook novel and fi lm by Michael Crichton.
Lifetime, which A&E Networks took over in summer 2009, will triple the amount of unscripted hours in
2011-12 by picking up 11 new series, according to network officials. The women-targeted network, which
greenlit a sixth season of its popular scripted series Army Wives, will also add two scripted, procedural
dramas, The Protector and Against the Wall. (For photos from these upfront events.)
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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