This is a timely order by USA. In the wake of the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the cable network has given the first series pickup to a pilot from its current slate to Mr. Robot (working title), an intense hacker drama starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater.

USA logoWritten/executive produced by Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot centers on a young programmer, Elliot (Rami Malek), who suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder and decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them. He finds himself in the intersection between a cybersecurity firm he works for and the underworld organizations that are recruiting him to bring down corporate America. Slater plays Mr. Robot, a mysterious anarchist who recruits Elliot. Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin (True Detective) and Chad Hamilton (Breakup At A Wedding) also executive produce.

Mr. Robot could not be more timely and relevant,” said Chris McCumber, President of USA Network. “Rami gives a masterful performance as a hacker and unlikely hero, alongside Christian, who is perfectly cast as  Mr. Robot.”

The pilot for Mr. Robot was directed by Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) who “has given the show a breathtakingly original look,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCU Cable Entertainment.

Co-starring in the series are Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Martin Wallstrom.

Mr. Robot was the first of five drama pilot orders made by USA this year, along with Carlton Cuse’s Colony, starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies; Stanistan, starring Jennifer Carpenter; Queen Of The South, based on the international best seller “La Reina del Sur,” starring Alice Braga; and recent pickup Evil Men, starring Dallas Roberts and Clifton Collins Jr.

USA recently announced a pullout from half-hour comedy to focus on its drama brand with an intention to pick up as many of its five drama pilots to series as possible.