USA orders pair of comedy pilots

Lane in talks to star in McGrath's singlecam laffer

USA Network is moving forward on the comedy side with the greenlight of two pilots, including one likely to star Nathan Lane.

The untitled Doug McGrath laffer, previously known as “On We Go,” is a half-hour singlecam about an unlucky actor whose Broadway aspirations must be put on hold when he returns to his Texas hometown when his father’s health takes a turn for the worse. Lane is currently in negotiations for the role.

McGrath, who wrote the pilot, will exec produce with Lane. Project comes from Universal Cable Prods.

“Paging Dr. Freed,” from Fox 21, is a half-hour comedy about two brothers who take over their father’s medical practice after his untimely death. Script is from Michael Feldman, who will exec produce. Katy McCaffrey and Brad Johnson are set as producers.

Cabler is coming off a strong summer in which it defeated all other cablers in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demo. The network was helped by the solid debuts of dramas “Necessary Roughness” and “Suits.”

“The pick up of these half-hour comedy pilots underscores our commitment to broadening the appeal of USA’s entertainment brand,” said co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. “We’re excited to be collaborating with some of the most distinct voices in the business as we open up to new genres.”