The USA Network is undergoing a major evolution in programming philosophy. “The Sinner” will be dropped by the network after it finishes out it’s run on December 1. It was the final in-house scripted series on the network.
Since then, Monk, Burn Notice, Psych, Suits, and Mr. Robot have come and gone. The original USA shows helped the network to gain and hold the #1 spot among entertainment cable networks for 14 years. It was the longest such streak in TV history, according to Deadline.
The end of the Bill Pullman-led series marks the network’s eye towards a shifting purpose when it comes to cable broadcasting. Streaming networks have lowered linear television ratings for years, and it’s reaching a crescendo as more and more Americans cut the cord. The new philosophy for the network is a move towards live and unscripted programming, which costs far less to produce.
The network will still run occasional scripted specials, which will be presented as special events. The shows leading the charge for the network on the unscripted front are WWE Raw and reality fare such as Chrisley Knows Best and Miz & Mrs.
USA will also inherit most of the NBC Sports Network programming as that network goes defunct on December 31. Previously, the National Hockey League called NBCSN their cable home. Now, USA will take those broadcasts up, to share with co-rights holders ESPN and TBS.
WWE has been going big on the rights fees business, capitalizing on networks like USA who are hungry for cheap, live programming that will get a larger chunk of a dwindling audience to tune in. Even secondary and tertiary live sports programming will likely find a home. There’s a reason Dwayne Johnson is putting money behind yet another revival of the XFL. You can sample some of the fine WWE offerings from USA Network below.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments!