USA is expanding its foray into half-hour comedy,giving cast-contingent greenlights to two comedy pilots, an untitled Douglas McGrath project and Paging Dr. Fred.
The untitled project (aka On We Go) is a single-camera comedy about an unlucky actor who puts his Broadway ambitions on hold to return to his Texas hometown when his father becomes ill. Nathan Lane is on board to executive produce the pilot from Universal Cable productions with McGrath, and Lane is also in talks to star in the series.
Paging Dr. Fred, from Fox 21, centers on two brothers who take over their father's medical practice after his untimely death. Michael Feldman will write and executive produce with Katy McCaffrey and Brad Johnson producing.
"The pick up of these half-hour comedy pilots underscores our commitment to broadening the appeal of USA's entertainment brand," said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, USA co-presidents, in a statement. "We're excited to be collaborating with some of the most distinct voices in the business as we open up to new genres."
USA has been in active development of half-hours to launch out of Modern Family when the hit sitcom premieres in syndication on the network in fall 2013. USA is also coming off its sixth straight summer win as the number one network in cable.