USA smokes ‘Peace’ pipe

Net flags four originals

The USA Network has commissioned Mel Gibson’s Icon Prods. to develop “Peace Out,” a six-hour miniseries that will tackle the Iraq War as a “MASH”-like dark comedy.

“Peace Out,” about two young party guys who travel to Baghdad seeking adventure, was the highlight of a group of four new projects USA disclosed Tuesday night in its upfront presentation in New York. Slate is one of the most aggressive in the net’s 26-year history.

The three other new programs are pilot developments for one-hour series: “Stuck in Paradise,” a dramedy about a disgruntled tennis pro working in a tropical resort, from Davis Entertainment and USA’s NBC Universal TV sibling; dramedy “To Love & Die in L.A.,” about a woman who finds her long-lost father and discovers he’s a contract killer, which turns out not to be a bad thing, from Broadway Video and NBC U; and “Burn Notice,” a drama about a fired CIA operative who uses his Special Ops training to help people in trouble, from Fox TV Studios and Fuse Entertainment.

To take advantage of the enormous audiences World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Monday Night Raw” is generating, USA has put into development two reality series aimed at WWE viewers.

“Turf,” from the Firm’s Rich Frank & Paul Frank, David Hurwitz and Paul Cockerille (“Fear Factor”), is a pilot for a one-hour series about automobile street racers addicted to speed. “The Capper,” from Endemol and Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”), focuses on sports handicapper Brandon Lang, who has a number of multimillion-dollar clients. Three action telepics aimed at the WWE young-male demo are also in development at USA: “Hunting Rabbets,” about repo men; “Crush,” about a bouncer in an L.A. hot spot who becomes a bodyguard for a wealthy businessman; and “The Last Tough Guy,” about a professional who seeks revenge on the killers of a close friend.

Going after tech-savvy viewers, USA said it would make the season opener of hit series “Monk” and first episode of rookie series “Psych” available one week before their cable premieres this summer on free video-on-demand digital TV.

Net will launch on Friday the broadband-video player USA characterclique, which will include Webisodes from USA series as well as user-generated programming.

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