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Lisa Steinberg

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USA Network Shows Character

Posted: 12/21/11 10:48 AM ET

Award season fever is beginning to spike as both the 2012 Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards are just around the corner. The nominations have been announced and this year there has been a truly surprising diversity of shows, actors, and films that both stand out and have been recognized.

Two programs in particular this season really are making a name for themselves in the award show circle; USA Network freshman shows "Necessary Roughness" and "Suits." Patrick Adams, who stars as Mike Ross on the breakout show "Suits," has been nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Callie Thorne, formerly of "Rescue Me" fame, has made a name for herself as a fantastic leading lady in the show "Necessary Roughness" and she is nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Performance by an Actress In A Television Series.

USA Network had been providing fan favorite programs for years without seemingly the hint of any type of acknowledgment during the major award season. Shows like "Psych," "Burn Notice," "White Collar," and "Royal Pains" have provided a hefty increase in ratings and viewership for the network year after year. Along with "Covert Affairs" star Piper Perabo garnering a Golden Globe Award nomination, in the first year of the show, the network is really seeing results pay off.

What is it about freshman shows "Suits" and "Necessary Roughness" that have helped USA Network continue their streak of garnering attention in the right places? Lots of eye candy in each one to begin with, of course, but beyond that the writing has simply been pure, charming, humorous, and gritty. This makes it easy to become smitten with these shows. The show runners, the writers, the cast, and the producers all put a lot of extra time and love into these programs in order to make them all seem effortlessly enjoyable. Not to mention the fantastic talent that each show packs into their casts. Callie Thorne was a fixture on the show "Rescue Me" and garnered a lot of buzz for her supporting role as the conniving and maniacal Sheila Keefe. Having "Necessary Roughness" as a vehicle of her own that she could helm has been a shining moment in her career and is overdue to fans who have treasured her since "Rescue Me." The way Thorne could play off of Denis Leary was incredible; the two had such undeniable and raw chemistry together. There was always such heat, passion and desire in the exchanges between Sheila and Denis' character Tommy. Thorne also brings this heat to her role as sports psychologist Dr. Dani Santino on "Necessary Roughness." Thorne plays opposite Marc Blucas who stars as Matthew Donnally, a trainer for the Hawks football team, and the reason why she ends up working as the team's therapist. The chemistry doesn't stop there; Thorne's talents also shine in scenes with her TV daughter played by Hannah Marks. The conviction, emotion, and heart Thorne infuses into her performance as Dani is achingly beautiful. Adams has been given his fair share of fiery moments as well on "Suits" with costar Gabriel Macht who plays Mike's mentor Harvey Specter, especially since both Mike and Harvey share a hidden secret that compels their relationship. Macht and Adams really stretch each other's acting abilities by both bringing a dominating and commanding presence to their performances which allows the characters of Harvey and Mike to toy around with the each other as if it were a cat and mouse game. Adams also has magnificent chemistry with his own on screen love interest, Meghan Markle's feisty character Rachel. The two have divine give and take and sparks fly every time they share even a brief scene together. With these smoking guns, both of these shows have a lasting future ahead of them.

Outside of "Suits" and "Necessary Roughness" the network itself has provided characters that fans simply cannot help, but be transfixed by. Case in point, the show "Psych," that has been a seed that USA Network has planted, tended to, watered, nourished, and loved and has been a fantastic example for other programs on USA. For the past few years "Psych" has been a fixture at the San Diego Comic Con where Psych-o's (the term for the show's fans) have waited many long hours in hopes of getting a glimpse of the stars of the show during their panel. James Roday, who plays Shawn Spencer on "Psych," has been nominated in the past, as well as this year, for an ALMA award for his work on the show. "Covert Affairs" also had a panel this year at Comic Con with Piper Perabo as a featured panelist.

While both Adams and Thorne may be up against some hefty talents which may make them underdogs, the nominations for the stars, and what it means for the shows in themselves, marks a huge leap for the USA Network in getting the accolades the network most definitely deserves. USA Network truly is a network with character.

 

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