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USA rejects pair of pilots

'Over/Under,' 'Wild Card' not getting series orders

USA is ramping up its original programming, but neither “Over/Under” nor “Wild Card” will be part of that mix.

Both drama pilots have been gestating at the cabler for more than a year, but after long deliberations each project failed to wow execs. Co-prexies Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber ultimately decided not to give the shows a series order.

“Over/Under,” from Fox Television Studios and Universal Cable Prods., starred “Rescue Me” alum Steven Pasquale as a Wall Street day trader whose gambling addiction costs him his job. After being fired he decided to become a bookie with the help of a young expectant father who lives in Brooklyn.

Sheila Callaghan wrote the pilot, which was directed by Bronwen Hughes. Dan Halsted was exec producer.

Show represented a much darker tone than the majority of USA Network dramedies, and there was concern that if the pilot went to series it would throw the cabler off brand.

As for Jennifer Finnigan starrer “Wild Card,” written by Stephen Godchaux, execs felt the show about two Las Vegas lawyers didn’t meet the criteria set by other USA Network series already on the air. Pilot, from Fox Television Studios, was exec produced by Godchaux and Cary Brokaw.

Consensus was the show lacked a creative spark and didn’t represent Las Vegas in a more modern way, instead reaching back to the days before so many of the Strip hotels were given a major glamour overhaul.

At the time USA Network ordered “Over/Under” and “Wild Card” in November 2010, it also gave the go-ahead for the pilot “Eden,” about a young hotel worker who gets a job as a concierge. That project, however, was given a no-go last summer.

Only drama pilot that USA Network currently has in the mix is “Graceland,” from “White Collar” exec producer Jeff Eastin.

Cabler still has decisions to make on the comedy side with two pilots. “Local Talent,” starring Nathan Lane, has been ordered and shot, but not picked up yet. “Paging Dr. Freed” is cast contingent and waiting for production to begin.

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