Question: Seeing as how Law & Order: Criminal Intent moved from NBC to USA Network, is there any chance that a USA Network original show could move to NBC? The most enjoyable TV I've watched since 24 first arrived would have to be Burn Notice, which is much better than most of the stuff the networks trot out, and I think it could really thrive on NBC. Watching it from late September to May would be a real treat. Any chance this could happen to Burn Notice, Psych or any other cable-TV show?
Answer: Interesting question. But the answer is: Probably not. These shows were developed for USA and work very well for that brand, and while you're absolutely right that most of the networks would be lucky to have a show as enjoyable as Burn Notice on the fall lineup (NBC is instead saddled with bummers like Journeyman and Life), why punish USA by stealing it away? USA Network is not an insignificant player in the NBC/Universal empire. And it's also true that a show that looks like a hit on cable may struggle in the higher-stakes world of network TV. Still, I've sometimes wondered myself how, with proper promotion and scheduling, shows like Monk or The Closer would fare if shown exclusively on a major broadcast network. I'm thinking pretty well. Which leads me to more discussion of Burn Notice, which suddenly became a hot topic in my mailbag after last week's season finale.