USA’s sitcom era reopens with orders for BFFs Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham; Chicago EMT series from Denis Leary

The USA Network’s tagline — “Characters Welcome” — now officially is welcoming sitcoms back into the cable channel’s programming fold.

Repeats of ABC’s hit Modern Family will begin airing on USA in September 2013. Come 2014, those repeats will be joined by new episodes or original USA sitcoms Sirens (from Denis Leary and Bob Fisher) and Playing House (starring and reuniting BFFs Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham).

But will there be a Happy Endings to add to this story?

Stay tuned. Negotiations, widely reported, between USA and Sony TV for the rights to pick up and continue Happy Endings are ongoing, after ABC misplayed and then scrapped that friendly, critically-beloved sitcom after three seasons and 57 episodes.

Nothing to report on that front today, however, at USA’s upfront presentation to advertisers.

What Chris McCumber, co-president of USA Network, did say: “This is the right time to be introducing half hour original comedies to the USA audience. With MODERN FAMILY joining our line-up in the fall, we can leverage television’s most popular comedy to serve as a powerful launch pad for new originals in this genre.”



Filmed in Chicago, Sirens follows three EMT workers who are great at their jobs but apparently nothing else. Written by Denis Leary and Bob Fisher, and executive produced by them with Jim Serpico of Apostle, Hal Vogel, David Aukin and David Leach. It’s based on a British series/format.


You loved them as live performers at the UCB Theatres, and you barely had a chance to love them on NBC as BFFs. Now Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham are back in the single-camera sitcom, Playing House. In this version, Parham’s character is pregnant and asks St. Clair’s character to come back home from overseas to attend her baby shower. You think she’ll stick around after that? Of course she will. Parham and St. Clair co-wrote and will executive produce, with Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan. The series is from Universal Cable Productions and American Work.

USA also announced it had ordered a pilot for Love Is Dead, a single-camera sitcom about a company that breaks up relationships for people who don’t want to break up with their partners/spouses in person. It’s written and executive produced by Zev Borow, from Universal Cable Productions and Gaumont International Television. It’s based on a French short film, apparently, and not the old John Heffron routine that I remember from more than a decade ago.

Also: An eighth and potentially final season of Psych, the network’s hour-long detective dramedy, is forthcoming.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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