On the heels of seeing their quirky original hour-long shows do reasonably well (Burn Notice, Royal Pans, Monk), the folks at USA are ready to go all in and try their hands at sitcoms. And loogit this, their first show will be a collaboration between the woman who created “Designing Women” and one of the guys from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Well, okie dokie then. From Nellie Andreeva over at Deadline:
USA Network is looking to re-enter the half-hour comedy arena with its first script deal for a half-hour project in more than a decade. The network has put in development Driven, a single-camera comedy from Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth. The project stars comedian Ron White as a guy who, after losing his job, starts a limo service. Bloodworth will write the script and will executive produce the project with her husband, long-time collaborator Harry Thomason…
There won’t be a great distinction between USA’s half-hour and hourlong comedies. Half-hour projects also will be "character-based, with an aspirational, blue-sky element to it," (USA’s president of original programming Jeff) Wachtel said.
I’ve always thought of USA’s current batch of shows as a tribute to old 80’s TV shows. Very light shows you forget the second you’re done watching them. That’s not an insult. It’s hard to make effortlessly disposable entertainment like that. These are the kind of shows people who are 40 and 50 years old enjoy after a long day working and trying to get the 15-year-old to not steal from the local CVS. Shows like that are crucial to the American wellbeing.
And “Driven” has that 80’s pedigree. Bloodworth was big in the 80s, of course. Then there’s White. I think White is, by far, the best comedian out of the whole Blue Collar group. He can play to the rednecks or win over a liberal crowd in Williamsburg. But his Blue Collar cred will play well with those flyover states folks, the kind that already like stuff like “Burn Notice.”
So things look good for “Driven.” No word on if White will have an alien for a driving partner.