USA Network Is Bringing Scripted Series Back to Their Successful Roots

After the success of 'Suits' and the 'Monk' reunion film, USA Network is planning to relaunch the 'blue sky' television era!

It has been reported that USA Network is planning a revival of its ‘blue sky’ era following its recent blockbuster success of Suits on Netflix and the Monk reunion film that premiered on NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock.

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The cable network is looking to return to the original scripted programming with character-based procedurals that lineup with the 2000s and early 2010s television era that included Monk, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, and Suits.


When the WGA strikes ended, the scripted executives at NBCU put out their USA plans and started to identify a handful of ideas they are considering for development. No deals have been reached and their ultimate goal is to roll out the first new series in 2025.

USA Network
Courtesy of USA Network

According to Deadline, who first reported this news, budgets for the projects have been capped at $2 million to $3 million an episode. It has been noted that the majority of the viewership for the new generation of USA ‘blue sky’ scripted series comes from streaming like Peacock, which is home to original shows and the Psych and Monk films.

The projects that are set to be released in 2025 have not been announced and it is most likely currently in development.


The ‘blue sky’ television era for the USA Network first kicked off with the debut of Monk in 2002. It was one of the two scripted series to premiere that year, alongside The Dead Zone that relaunched the network for original scripted programming. For a while, the network produced darker/sci-fi drama arena television series such as The 4400, Touching Evil, and the Traffic miniseries until Psych was released in 2006, fitting closely with Monk.

CHUCKY — “Death by Misadventure” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Chucky, Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/USA Network)

This was the start of escapist dramas and humorous characters such as Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, White Collar, Fairly Legal, Suits, and many more. Many of these series were largely shot outdoors, hence the name Blue Sky series. Some of the set locations were in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Venice, etc. These shows helped USA Network become the #1 cable entertainment network for 14 years.

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In the 2010s, the network shifted toward darker, grittier storytelling in hopes of getting views from the younger generation while trying to get stronger award recognition. When Mr. Robot became a massive success in 2015, this became the ultimate demise of the ‘blue sky’ programming initiative and no new series in that particular genre was launched after Suits ended after just three seasons. With the new programming direction with Mr. Robot, other shows were created like The Sinner, Shooter, and Queen of the South, the “Characters Welcome” Era of the USA Network was effectively over.

Courtesy of USA Network

The only original scripted series on the network right now is Syfy’s Chucky. It is being shared between the two NBCU cable nets such as reality, wrestling, and sports programming.

What do you guys think? Do you remember a time when you enjoyed USA Network’s “Blue Sky” era of television programming? What do you think about the idea of it making its return? Are you a fan of any of the USA television series that were featured in this article? Let us know and make sure to check out our socials! If you like this article, don’t forget to follow us for more content.

SOURCE: Deadline

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Stephanie Ramirez

A film/tv enthusiast who loves everything nerdy including: Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Comics and Books.