Going into Season 3, the executive producers of Necessary Roughness went by one of the oldest sports adages in the books.
"[USA] wanted us to, as they said, 'Go big.' So we went bigger," co-creator and executive producer Liz Kruger tells TVGuide.com. "I think everybody's quite excited about the changes."
After escaping cancellation and earning a Season 3 renewal, Necessary Roughness comes back Wednesday (10/9c, USA) equipped with some significant differences. "I think that the network was very happy creatively with the last two seasons, but felt it was time to move things in another direction," Kruger says. "When you blow up a show like this, that's terrifying. But what we tried to do is keep the most important parts of it, which is the essence of who Dani is and what is her journey.
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"I think it will be one of our best seasons ever, to be honest, because I think we give the fans everything they loved about the show and then on top of that, we give them a whole new world."
So what's in and what's out for Season 3? And what's coming up next for Dani (Callie Thorne) in her journey? Here's our guide to Necessary Roughness 2.0:
1. New job: After two seasons with the New York Hawks football team, Dr. Dani is leaving the nest and heading to much fancier digs — a Jerry Maguire-esque agency called V3. "It's a logical evolution of the show on the continuum of her life and career because by the end of Season 2, her character had gotten a lot of attention and fame and was beginning to get noticed outside the world of the Hawks," co-creator and executive producer Craig Shapiro says. "This is the logical evolution of where she would go next, she would go to a place like V3." However, that might also prove to be a little suffocating for Dani. "The interesting thing is that Dani has never worked in a corporate environment. She's never worked in an office," Kruger says. "There's corporate rules and regulations, and Dani is not a conformist as we know, so she runs up against all that kind of stuff."
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2. New boss: With a new gig comes a new head honcho for Dani to answer to. Enter John Stamos, who plays Connor McClane, the head of V3. "We wanted that character to be the impresario, the entry into a new world, to have all sorts of layers, to be seductive, intriguing and complicated and to have him be a force to be reckoned with, but also someone who is hard to hate," Kruger says. "I think he does all of the things as good as anyone could possibly do them." Stamos was the producers' first choice. "He is one of those rare actors that has the ability to walk in a room and just be unbelievably charming and win you over with just a smile," Shapiro said. "He doesn't even need any dialogue and that is an amazing tool in our arsenal."
3. New rival: However, with a new boss also comes a new No. 2 — Troy Cutler played by David Anders — who won't be so charming. "In the first episode, [Connor] says, 'I'm sort of the big idea guy, and Troy executes it.' That has a double meaning there," Kruger says. "Every company needs a hatchet man. One guy has to be the tough guy and the other guy gets to be the guy everybody loves."
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4. New clients: Although the premiere episode will see Dr. D again working with another sports star, look for her to play outside of the field, literally, this season. "They have various divisions: fashion, media, actors and actresses, sports, writers, public speakers," Kruger says. "The great thing about V3 is that all of her clients are all coming from under one roof." Sadly, this means Dani will no longer be able to spend so much time with T.K. (Mehcad Brooks). "He is going to become connected to the new world that Dani is in, and it's really going to be about: What do athletes have to look forward to at the end of their careers? Meaning the endorsements, all that stuff. How do you stay relevant? How do you make enough money for when you have to retire at age 34 or 35?" Kruger says. "T.K. is looking to the future. What he can hope for? What can he expect?" But T.K. will also have a more immediate goal. "He will be dedicated to getting the [Super Bowl] ring through this season," Shapiro says.
5. New lifestyle: After spending years working out of her house and raising her two children, Dani will really begin to enjoy the single life this season now that her kids have flown the coop. "Now for the first time, her kids are really grown. They don't need her on a day-to-day basis and she's obviously not married anymore, and she's free to explore the field so to speak," Shapiro says. "She's going to cut loose a little bit this season." Producers say her kids, Lindsay (Hannah Marks) and Ray Jay (Patrick Johnson), will "pop in and out" this season, but will no longer play a major role. "We talked a little bit about her living her 20s in her 40s," Kruger says. "Basically that she had kids when she was young and now she's essentially working in a new place, but with nothing weighing her down."
Necessary Roughness premieres on Wednesday at 10/9c on USA. Are you excited for the new season?