Next week on USA begins what is arguably the strongest combination of primetime shows any cable network will air at the same time all year.
White Collar returns for its second season, Psych for its fifth, and rookie Covert Affairs makes its debut, while Burn Notice and Royal Pains continue on the schedule. No other cable network can touch USA ratings now during primetime, and the primetime ratings are likely to get even more lopsided after next week.
Their strategy has produced original shows that consistently produce adults 18-49 ratings in the 0.9-1.5 range, an outcome most cable networks would kill for. Although recently other cable networks have gotten hot with a few shows, none have been as consistently successful.
On a personal level, while I admire USA’s coherent strategy, and their execution of it, I typically find their shows interesting to begin with. However, they eventually start accumulating on my DVR, as recording and viewing conflicts tend to go to other alternatives.