Sirens was the first original half-hour comedy series to launch under USA’s push in the genre following the off-network acquisition of Modern Family. It was soon joined by Playing House and Benched, two of which, Sirens and Benched have now been cancelled. It was a slow build out of the gate in Season 1, but Sirens developed a following from a loyal core audience and even showed ratings growth over its freshman run, despite losing its Suits lead-in halfway through, earning a second season renewal.
USA reaffirmed its commitment to Sirens in October when the network signaled a retreat from original scripted comedy. The quirky comedy, starring Michael Mosley, Kevin Daniels, Kevin Bigley and Jessica McNamee, has been well received, with Season 2 getting even higher marks from some critics. Ratings-wise, there was no growth, and I hear the fact that the show could’t find a big enough audience beyond its passionate fan base coupled with the fact that it is not owned by USA led to the network’s decision not to go with a third season. Playing House, which also has enjoyed critical praise and a small but devoted following but is owned by USA, was able to clinch a renewal with a new windowing model introduced by the network where new episodes will premiere first on video-on-demand platforms, before airing on the linear USA channel a week later. Season 2 of Playing House debuts in August.
In addition to Playing House, on the comedy front USA has six-episode Donny!, a semi-scripted comedic series toplined by Donny Deutsch, set to launch in the fourth quarter.