USA Network Enters Upfront Season as No. 1 Cable Entertainment Network in Key Demos
Anchored by new hits, weekly live events and stronger-than-ever returning series, usa network heads into this year's Upfront season on top, as the #1 ad-supported cable entertainment network in 1Q17 among key demos P18-49, P18-34 and P2+ - and with several shows earning series highs. After closing 2016 as the most watched ad-supported cable entertainment network for an unprecedented 11thconsecutive year, 1Q17 marks the first time in seven years that USA has been #1 in 1Q in all three demos, including younger viewers P18-34.
USA's first quarter success was driven by a content mix of new and returning series and events, including WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE, CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST and SHOOTER. With five hours a week, 52 weeks a year of live event programming, WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW and WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE have helped USA become the #1 ad-supported cable entertainment network on Monday nights with P18-49, P25-54 and P2+, and #1 on Tuesday nights among P18-49, P25-54 and P18-34 year to date. CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST is currently earning its highest ratings to date in its fifth season, averaging over 3MM total viewers. Freshman series SHOOTER, starring Ryan Phillippe, is a top three first season cable drama among P18-49.
"USA continues to invest in big brands and grow scale with must-see live events and buzzy original programming," said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. "By expanding our established franchises and cultivating new ones, USA will do what it has always done best -- offer a wide range of entertaining shows that resonate with one of the biggest and most loyal audiences in television."
"With USA, marketers have the ideal, premium environment for their messaging, surrounded by highly engaging premium content with scale that rivals that of a broadcast network," said Mark Marshall, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Sales Group, NBCUniversal. "Combining USA's investment in compelling content across multiple genres, with the data and distribution capabilities of our portfolio, makes for a winning formula to help our clients fulfill their business objectives."
For the 2017-18 Upfront season, USA is offering an ambitious lineup of shows focused on strong storytelling that feature bold and authentic characters -- and forming new partnerships to strengthen its programming slate. As recently announced, the independent TV studio Blumhouse Television, along with co-production partners Universal Cable Productions, will produce THE PURGE, a series for USA and Syfy that continues the ongoing and successful Universal Pictures film franchise of the same name. Led by the films' creator, James DeMonaco, and executive produced by Platinum Dunes and Sebastian K. Lemercier, the series will be a new chapter in America's 12 hours of annual lawlessness.
Additional programs for USA's 2017-2018 Upfront season include returning series MR. ROBOT, COLONY, SUITS and QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and new drama series THE SINNER, starring Jessica Biel. The network is also in production on the pilot UNSOLVED: THE MURDERS OF TUPAC AND BIGGIE (WT), based on the infamous investigations into the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, and on the drama series DAMNATION, from writer and executive producer Tony Tost ("Longmire").
Highlights of USA's production and development slate for Upfront 2017-18 include:
Set in the near future in the wake of a mysterious alien invasion, COLONY tells the story of a family fighting to stay together within a new world order. The series stars Josh Holloway as Will and Sarah Wayne Callies as his wife, Katie. The series is co-produced by Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions. Season 3 premieres in 2018.
MR. ROBOT follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cyber-security engineer who became involved in the UNDERGROUND hacker group fsociety after being recruited by their mysterious leader (Christian Slater). Following the events of fsociety's five/nine hack on the multi-national company E-Corp, the series explores the consequences of the attack as well as the illusion of control. From Universal Cable Production, Season 3 premieres October 2017.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
Inspired by the global best-selling novel "La Reina Del Sur" by internationally acclaimed author Arturo Pérez-Reverte, QUEEN OF THE SOUTH follows THE JOURNEY of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga) and the sacrifices she must make not only to survive but to also make it to the top of the drug world. Where will she draw the line when her moral code and her destiny are at odds? QUEEN OF THE SOUTH is executive produced by David T. Friendly ("Little Miss Sunshine," "Courage Under Fire") and Natalie Chaidez ("12 Monkeys"). The series is co-produced by FOX 21 Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions. Season 2 premieres Thursday, June 8 at 10/9c.
Based on the best-selling novels by Stephen Hunter and the 2007 Paramount film starring Mark Wahlberg, Season 2 of SHOOTER follows THE JOURNEY of Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe), a highly decorated veteran who must confront a nemesis from his past in order to return to a life of normalcy. The series is co-produced by Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions. Season 2 premieres Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c
An eight-episode series, THE SINNER follows a young mother (Jessica Biel) who, overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a startling act of violence and to her horror has no idea why. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the "who" or the "what" -- but the "why" -- as an investigator (Bill Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman's buried motive. Produced by Universal Cable Productions, the series premieres Wednesday, August 2 at 10/9c.
In SUITS, legendary hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) takes a gamble by hiring Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a brilliant but not-so-legitimate college dropout, as an associate at his prolific Manhattan corporate law firm. SUITS also stars Meghan Markle as Rachel, a paralegal and law student, Sarah Rafferty as Donna, Harvey's formidable executive assistant, and Rick Hoffman as Louis, a fragile but intelligent senior partner. Universal Cable Productions is the studio. Season 7 premieres Wednesday, July 12 at 9/8c.
BIG STAR LITTLE STAR
Hosted by Cat Deeley, BIG STAR LITTLE STAR is a celebrity family game show that pairs stars with their kids as they playfully test their knowledge of one another. All in good fun to win money for their chosen charities, each episode will feature three famous families as they reveal hilarious behind-the-scenes moments about their real lives. The series is produced by ITV Entertainment in association with 12 Yard Productions. Series premieres Wednesday, May 31 at 9/8c.
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST follows the entertaining lives of outspoken patriarch Todd Chrisley and his over-the-top Southern family, which includes his loving wife, Julie, their children Lindsie, Chase, Savannah and Grayson, and Todd's beloved mother Nanny Faye. The series is produced by Maverick TV and All3Media America, and will return in fall 2018.
TEAM NINJA WARRIOR
Part of the Emmy®-nominated franchise "American Ninja Warrior," TEAM NINJA WARRIOR pits three-person athletic teams against each other on physically demanding, side-by-side obstacle courses that test both endurance and speed. The studio is A. Smith & Co. Productions. Season 2 premieres Tuesday, April 18 at 10/9c.
An epic saga about the history of the 1930's American heartland, DAMNATION centers on the conflict and struggle between big money and the downtrodden. The series focuses on Seth Davenport (Killian Scott), who is masquerading as a small town preacher starting an insurrection against the status quo, and Creeley Turner (Logan Marshall-Green), a professional strikebreaker hired by a tycoon to stop the uprising. Unbeknownst to those around them, these two men share a secret past. The studio is Universal Cable Productions.
UNSOLVED: THE MURDERS OF TUPAC AND BIGGIE (WT)
This scripted true crime serial chronicles the police investigations into the murders of Tupac Shakur (Marcc Rose, "Straight Outta Compton") and Biggie Smalls (newcomer Wavyy Jonez). Emmy® winner Anthony Hemingway ("The People v. O.J. Simpson: AMERICAN CRIME Story") is set to direct and will executive produce along with Mark Taylor through their Hemingway|Taylor production company. Kyle Long is creator and executive producer and former LAPD detective Greg Kading is co-executive producer and co-wrote the pilot. The drama is based on the experiences of Kading, played by Josh Duhamel ("Battle Creek," "Las Vegas"). The series also stars Jimmi Simpson ("Westworld," "House of Cards") as Detective Russell Poole, and Bokeem Woodbine ("Fargo," "Southland") as Officer Daryn Dupree. The studio is Universal Cable Productions.