USA Network has hot plans for summer.
NBCUniversal’s top cabler is set to kick off new seasons of “Royal Pains” and “Burn Notice” while launching freshman skeins “Suits” and “Necessary Roughness” in the timeslots right behind them.
It’s the first time the net will premiere two original series in summer. In total, USA will have nine original series on the air during the season, including its latest reality venture, “WWE Tough Enough.”
Jeff Wachtel, recently promoted to co-prexy at USA Network, said it wasn’t originally planned to have both shows begin just a month apart from each another, but the pilots came in better than expected and he wanted to launch them in summer when scripted broadcast competition is slim.
“We love both of them and got lucky,” Wachtel told Variety. “We feel both are great and in our sweet spot.”
“Burn Notice,” which will debut its fifth season at 9 p.m. June 23, will act as a lead-in for “Suits” (formerly known as “A Legal Mind”). Drama stars Gabriel Macht as a Gotham attorney who hires a hotshot associate without a legal background but lots of street smarts who proves to be an asset.
Series comes from Universal Cable Prods., writer Aaron Korsh and exec producers Doug Liman and David Bartis.
“Necessary Roughness” debuts at 10 p.m. June 29, immediately following the third-season premiere of “Royal Pains.” It centers on a divorcee, played by Callie Thorne, who juggles a job as a therapist for a pro football team with her personal life.
Created by Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro, skein is produced by Sony Pictures TV and Universal Cable Prods. Kevin Dowling, who helmed the pilot, exec produces.
Summer has been kind to USA Network. “Burn Notice” has opened each of its four seasons in either June or July, and last year the skein averaged 7.3 million viewers per episode, when DVR numbers for seven days were included. Second season of “Royal Pains” also hit the same number.