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USA options original scripted series 'A Legal Mind' and 'Necessary Roughness'

by jmaloni
Tue, Jan 25th 2011 01:00 pm

USA Network has announced the pickup of two original scripted series, "A Legal Mind" and "Necessary Roughness," as it expands on the "Characters Welcome" brand and increases its programming slate to a record number of scripted originals for the network. Each series will debut with a 90-minute premiere followed by 11 one-hour episodes. The announcement was made by Jeff Wachtel, USA's president, original programming, and co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions.

"A Legal Mind" stars Patrick J. Adams ("Lost," "Friday Night Lights"), Gabriel Macht ("Love and Other Drugs," "Whiteout"), Meghan Markle ("CSI Miami," "Fringe"), Gina Torres ("Gossip Girl," "Huge") and Rick Hoffman ("Samantha Who," "Knight Rider"), and "Necessary Roughness" stars Callie Thorne ("Rescue Me," "Prison Break"), Marc Blucas ("Buffy, The Vampire Slayer"), Mehcad Brooks ("Desperate Housewives," "True Blood") and Scott Cohen ("NYPD Blue").

"At USA, we like to say that the quality of the material advances the projects - and these are two great pilots!" said Wachtel. " 'A Legal Mind' and 'Necessary Roughness' take our original series to a new level, while honoring the character brand filter that has been so crucial to our success."

In "A Legal Mind," one of Manhattan's top corporate lawyers (Macht) sets out to recruit a new hotshot associate and hires the only guy that impresses him - a brilliant but unmotivated college dropout (Adams). Though he isn't actually a lawyer, this legal prodigy has the book smarts of a Harvard law grad and the street smarts of a hustler. However, in order to serve justice and save their jobs, both these unconventional thinkers must continue the charade. From Universal Cable Productions, "A Legal Mind" is executive produced Doug Liman ("Covert Affairs," the "Bourne" trilogy, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "The O.C.") and David Bartis ("Covert Affairs," "The O.C.," "The Heist") of Hypnotic. Creator Aaron Korsh ("The Deep End") wrote the pilot and serves as co-executive producer and producer Gene Klein ("Covert Affairs") serves as producer. Kevin Bray ("White Collar," "Burn Notice," "Walking Tall") directed the pilot.

"Necessary Roughness" focuses on a tough, sexy Long Island divorcee (Thorne) who gets a job as therapist for a professional football team in order to make ends meet. Underestimated at every turn, she succeeds beyond all expectations and soon finds herself a sought-after therapist to high-profile clients. Athletes, musicians, politicians and others living in the spotlight - all in a moment of crisis - clamor for her unique brand of tough love therapy. As a newly single mom raising two teenagers, her start-up practice wreaks havoc on her life. But recognizing that she's changing people's lives for the better, she is determined to make her new career work by striking a balance between her personal and professional worlds. Created by writers and co-executive producers Liz Kruger & Craig Shapiro ("Miami Medical," "The Challenge") along with supervising producers Donna Dannenfelser and Joe Sabatino. Kevin Dowling ("Sons of Tucson") directed the pilot and also serves as executive producer. Inspired by a true story, "Necessary Roughness" is a Sony Pictures Television and Universal Cable Productions co-production.

USA is the home to eight original scripted series: "Burn Notice," "Royal Pains," "White Collar," "Psych," "In Plain Sight," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Covert Affairs," with "Fairly Legal" being the newest original series to premiere.

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