USA continues to move away from "blue skies" programming: On Thursday the top-rated cable network unveiled its 2014 development slate, which includes a diverse portfolio of gritty dramas, comedy and limited-run series from name producers including Amy Poehler, Jodie Foster and Jessica Biel.
On the drama side, USA is edging away from the sunny one-hour fare that has long been its trademark. The network has ordered a cast-contingent pickup of the pilot "Stanistan," which follows the staff at the American compound in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Stanistan.
Also in the works are "Boom," about a couple seduced by life in a North Dakota boomtown; "Brand," executive produced by Foster, which follows a recovered addict and born-again preacher; "Colony," a drama about alien-occupied Los Angeles from executive producer Carlton Cuse ("Bates Motel"); "The Farm," a psychological horror series set on a family farm in the Midwest; "Control," which explores the high-pressure world of air-traffic control; and "Mr. Robot," about a gifted young programmer with a debilitating antisocial disorder.
Following the recent launch of sitcoms "Sirens" and "Playing House," USA is also continuing its expansion into original comedy. The network has ordered a pilot presentation -- i.e. a shortened pilot -- of "Difficult People," from "Billy on the Street" duo Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner, who will star as "pop-culture-loving best friends who hate everyone — except each other." Amy Poehler is attached as an executive producer.
Other comedies in development include "Love the One You're With," centered on a free-spirited woman who falls for a younger, uptight man; "Majordomo," about a struggling documentarian who becomes a personal assistant for his friend, a real estate heiress; "Moguls," a single-camera comedy from executive producer Jessica Biel following the employees of a Colorado ski resort; and "Royal," about a recently retired Hell's Angel making a difficult transition to life in the suburbs.