Three days into the astronomical fall, USA Network has made the first renewal decision on its summer series, picking up additional seasons of established performers Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. For Royal Pains, the pickup is for 26 episodes across two additional seasons, the show’s fifth and sixth. White Collar and Covert Affairs have each received a 16-episode renewal for a fifth and fourth season, respectively. “In an increasingly competitive landscape, these series got new season pickups the old-fashioned way — they earned it,” said USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. The move comes as USA wrapped a seventh consecutive summer as the No. 1 cable network across all key demos.
Following a 13-epispde freshman season, in Years 2 and 3 Royal Pains aired 16- to 18-episode seasons in two batches, one in the summer and one in the winter. Because of the show’s premise — it takes place during the summer season in the Hamptons — there are not enough warm days to film the entire longer seasons, forcing the show to film stunt episodes shot in warmer location that often feel disjointed and disrupt the flow of the medical series, like Hank and Evan’s trip to Florida or Mark’s to Cuba. This year, the series aired 14 episodes in the summer that will be followed by a two-hour holiday movie to air December 16.
Of the remaining USA series, veteran Burn Notice and Suits also are expected to get the nod for renewal, Common Law is not, while Fairly Legal and Necessary Roughness continue to be question marks as is Political Animals, which may stick to its original form as a one-time limited series. Royal Pains and Covert Affairs are from Universal Cable Prods; White Collar from Fox TV Studios. Veteran Psych is on a different schedule; it did not air in the summer and is not up for renewal yet.