USA’s lineup demonstrates a remarkable, almost frightening level of consistency — not necessarily in quality, but certainly in type. The network famously wants blue skies on every show, but the series have more in common than just a weather palette. While not every single USA show fits every single category, they do have to have most of the following six main components to get on the network. With USA newcomers Necessary Roughness (Wednesday) and Suits (Thursday) joining the packed summer lineup this week (Burn Notice, White Collar, In Plain Sight … ), it’s the perfect time to lay out the formula. It’s so easy, we used it to come up with three of our own proposals for USA shows: We estimate that they’ll be on the air by next June.
Like Necessary Roughness, White Collar, Royal Pains, Fairly Legal, or Covert Affairs.
This is called “the Monk model.” As seen in:White Collar: a by-the-book cop and his art-thief partnerRoyal Pains: a doctor and his quirky business-partner brotherIn Plain Sight: a no-nonsense U.S. Marshal who acts on instinct and her type-A partnerPsych: a fake mentalist (he’s just ultraobservant) slacker and his buttoned-up childhood best friend and, you guessed it, partner
Photo: Alan Zenuk/? USA Network
Covert Affairs: Annie’s new to the CIA, but she’s an expert in linguistics, so they need her talents!Pysch: Shawn (was) new to faux police work, but he’s an expert observer, so they need his talents!White Collar: Neal’s new to the police side of things, but he’s an expert art thief who switched sides, so they need his talents!Necessary Roughness: Dr. Dani Santino is new to working with NFL players, but she’s an expert psychologist and hypnotherapist who really gets people, so they need her talents!Suits: Mike is new to fancy-schmancy law firms, but he’s a legal prodigy, so they need his talents!Royal Pains: Hank (was) new to being a “concierge doctor” to the rich and beautiful, but he’s a smart guy, so they need his talents!Fairly Legal: Kate’s new to being a mediator, but she’s an expert litigator, so they need her talents!Burn Notice: Michael (was) new to being a civilian, but the former CIA agent still knows how to investigate things and kick ass, so the common folk need his talents!
Photo: Steve Wilkie/? USA Network
Psych: Shawn and Jules made it to season five before giving in to their passion. (Though to be frank, Shawn and Gus are the real romance on this show.)White Collar: Just because Peter is married doesn’t mean he and Neal don’t have outrageous sexual chemistry. They do! Oh, boy, do they.In Plain Sight: Mary and Marshall, you know you want to.Royal Pains: Hank and Jill, you know you want to.Covert Affairs: Annie and her ex Ben are the ostensible couple, but Auggie is the way better choice. Necessary Roughness: Dani and Matt clearly have the hots for each other, but Nico is going to be the sleeper love interest on the show. Mark these words!
Photo: Gregory Peters/? USA Network – FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY – NOT FOR RESALE – DO NOT ARCHIVE
Fairly Legal: San FranciscoRoyal Pains: The HamptonsBurn Notice: MiamiIn Plain Sight: AlbuquerquePysch: Santa BarbaraCovert Affairs: All over the world
Photo: Glenn Watson/?USA Network—FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY–NOT FOR RESALE–DO NOT ARCHIVE
Just Desserts: Andy Hartman was a powerful judge who left it all behind so he and his long-estranged ne’er-do-well brother could open a Key West bakery with the help of their childhood friend Sarah — who’s, ahem, all grown up now. They still find themselves giving (and needing) some legal advice once in a while, but their focus is on … the sweeter things.Down Under: Textbook editor Alanna Down thought expat Sebastian would be the perfect vacation fling while she was in Sydney. Turns out, she got more than she bargained for: Seb’s a wanted man, and now he and Alanna are on the run through the blistering Outback, where the only thing tougher than evading a global crime syndicate is falling in love.Close Quarters: Dino Chandler’s one of the FBI’s best agents. Nora McIntyre was a gifted jazz musician before she entered the academy. Now they’re going undercover as a married couple in New Orleans’s French Quarter. They’re trying to prevent organized crime from taking over parts of the area — but they might just be falling in love, too.It’s that easy! Now you try in the comments!