USA climbs aboard to pilot ‘Plain’

Net sets 'Sight' on femme fatale skein

USA Network has found an heir to “La Femme Nikita.”

Cabler has greenlit the series pilot “In Plain Sight,” about a no-nonsense female federal marshal, from “Dawson’s Creek” exec producer Paul Stupin and “Huff” scribe David Maples.

Cabler has given a cast-contingent go to the 90-minute project, which Stupin will exec produce with NBC Universal TV Studio. Maples will co-exec produce and pen the script with Mark Piznarski (“Veronica Mars”) aboard to helm.

“In Plain Sight” revolves around Mary Shannon, who works in the witness protection branch of the government. While her friends and family are led to believe she is a glorified meter maid, Mary is busy protecting both career criminals and innocents — all of whom need shielding from people who want them dead.

Weekly episodes will follow Mary as she balances babysitting her charges and her own dysfunctional family.

“In Plain Sight” marks the first time cabler has developed a show for a female lead since the action hour “Nikita,” which went off the air in 2001. Entertainment topper Jeff Wachtel said that, like Nikita, Mary is “a strong character who makes no apologies about her sexuality, her opinions or her methods. She’s a real take-no-prisoners woman.

“What really attracted us to the show, however, was what attracts us to most of our series projects: a central character who is an expert in fixing someone else’s problems, but terrible in dealing with their own,” Wachtel continued.

“In Plain Sight” reunites Stupin and Wachtel; pair developed “Dawson’s Creek” together while Wachtel was exec VP at Columbia Television. Series was originally developed by UPN.

USA is shooting two other pilots up for pickup consideration: “Underfunded,” a comedy about a low-rent Canadian secret service outfit from “Monk” scribe David Breckman and Ross Abrash, and “Psyche,” a one-hour about a fake psychic detective from Steve Franks (“Big Daddy”) and Tagline Pictures. James Roday and Dule Hill star in the latter, which is in post-production.

Last original drama to bow on USA — the remake of “Kojak” — was not renewed.

Stupin currently exec produces the ABC Family drama “Beautiful People.”

Maples’ writing credits include “Home Improvement” and the Nickelodeon series “Rugrats.”

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