USA Renews Fairly Legal (But There's a Catch), Plus Premiere Ratings for L&O: CI, In Plain Sight

USA Network is set to announce at its Monday afternoon upfront presentation that it has renewed the legal dramedy Fairly Legal for a second season, Deadline reports.

“We think there is a creative and audience upside to the show,” USA co-president Jeff Wachtel says of picking up the series, which fought the good fight against considerable Thursday competition. “Not every first season is the best, and we think it is a show that can do better.”

To that end, Deadline hears that “changes in the series’ creative direction” are in the works for Season 2, which will launch its 13-episode order in early 2012.

More good news for USA Network: Law & Order: Criminal Intent returned on Sunday night to an audience of 5.1 million total viewers, up 43 percent from the long-running procedural’s Jeff Goldblum-fronted Season 9 opener.

In turn, In Plain Sight‘s own premiere drew 3.9 million viewers, up a tick from its Season 3 opener, and gained 15 percent in the 18-49 demo. Since Plain Sight‘s performance was impacted by President Obama’s Sunday-night news conference, USA is looking into adding additional broadcasts of the premiere.

Have a question about any USA Network series? Fairly Legal, White Collar, Psych, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, L&O: CI or IPS? Email and I’ll see what I can find out at Monday’s event!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. L says:

    I’m so pleased about Fairly Legal being picked up. I adored the first season and I must admit, the ‘creative changes’ worry me because I thought the first season was brilliant. I didn’t find much wrong with it to be honest and I hope they don’t change it too much!

    • Rowan says:

      I’m glad the show was picked up – it has potential, but creatively it was going nowhere fast. I think the writing could be better (predictable; some of the dialogue was wooden) and they need to ratchet up the stakes.

      I hope season two will give the show’s lead a better venue to show her talent.

    • Ben Kabak says:

      brilliant? whats your threshhold of brilliance???

    • ice says:

      I agree with you L i dont think they need to change anything, it was a great show and hope they keep the same cast too. they are great with each other. The only thing confused about that might need explaining is Kate’s background, i dont understand why she cant control her life and a lot is missing out, i hope they bring in to the next few seasons. Lastly when is season 2 coming out,? is it coming out with all the other shows, psych, burn notice and covert affairs? if not why not?

    • Chrisit says:

      So glad to see Fairly Legal will be returning. My family really enjoyed this show. We DVRed it each week. I hope there arent too many changes. We love the cast. Hate to know we have to wait so long for it to return.

  2. h says:

    The only “creative change” I hope to see in Fairly Legal is Shahi’s character being more accepting of her stepmother and seeing her for the brilliant woman that she is. Enough with the treating her unfairly bit. We get it: You don’t like her. But she was good for your dad and for his firm.

    • postsalot says:

      The only “creative change” I hope to see in Fairly Legal is Shahi’s character being more accepting of her own nudity and seeing it for the brilliant body that it is. Enough with the treating us unfairly bit. We get it. You don’t like being naked. But your booty was good enough to get you the role and the show.

  3. tvpam says:

    Love that Goren and Eames are back, but pushing the Sheen episode up and therefore having no explanation about their return was not a smart idea.

    • Tania says:

      Not everything needs to be explained to you. Having said this, it was the first episode with the originals back. How ’bout watching the rest of the episodes to see what unfolds in terms of Goren and Eames.

    • kafkaesque says:

      Agree with you, I wanted to know what happened between last season and now. But very thrilled to have L&O:CI back with Goren & Eames, now I hope to see a visit by Logan & Wheeler.

    • remixjunkie says:

      I’ve read somewhere (probably here on TVLine) that we will get the story of just how Goren and Eames came back to Major Case. Keep watching! Great to have the team back!

  4. Dav says:

    Way to go Criminal Intent!!! I’m so glad to have you back!

  5. Tam says:

    Welcome back Kathryn and Vincent. As you can tell…we missed you!

  6. mooshki says:

    Just so long as they don’t get rid of her assistant – he’s the best part of the show!

  7. V says:

    I <3 IN PLAIN SIGHT!!!!! and I loved the season premier!

  8. Don J says:

    I’m in the boat that agrees Fairly Legal needs some creative tweaking. Out of the 10 episodes that I aired, I honestly maybe remember 1 or 2 that sort of had memorable plots. It has potential and I love most of the cast, but they can do more with the characters and SF setting. For starters, I would lose Michael Trucco as Kate’s ex. I know women like him because he’s a good looking guy, but he sucks the life out of the show and I think Kate needs to be single without extra baggage from her past. Plus, they can do so much more with Lauren than make her a stuffy and uptight woman.

    • Leah says:

      I agree! That was the biggest thing I didn’t like about the show, the husband. Divorce wasn’t final, so can’t say “ex”.

    • Irishgirl says:

      Interesting. Trucco’s character is one I really like, and it has nothing to do with his looks. I’d say the one I like the most is Leo her assistant. Love him! Shahi’s character is the most annoying to me of all of them. She is just so aggravating and whiny.

      I agree they need to develop Lauren more. They’ve touched on things they can develop, which is good. And bring back her assistant! I was disappointed at how little there was of the brother. I was hoping he’s lessen Kate’s annoying qualities, but we really didn’t see him much.

      • Heather says:

        I agree that Kate is probably the character that needs the most tweaking. One of the big things I didn’t like about her was how disrespectful she was to other people and how completely unprofessional she could be. She is obviously very good at what she does but her personality gets in her own way. I am also one of those people that doesn’t understand her hatred for Lauren. Maybe if Lauren was a shrew or a bitch or a dumb trophy wife, I would get it. But Lauren seems to be a smart, wonderful, tough woman. If anything, i would think she and Kate would get along! I just wish Kate would stop being late to everything or blowing off things and thinking her smile and looks can wash over all her unprofessionalism. It’s incredibly annoying not charming.

        • Todd says:

          COULDN’T AGREE MORE!!!

          I watched the first two episodes and the character of Kate put me off so much, I quit watching. Her unprofessionalism was especially irritating. The show was a chore to watch.

        • Kristen says:

          Wait, so we “tweak” the character Kate and then what? It’s not Fairly Legal. What’s the new show going to be about? Kate is meant to be scatter brained, yet driven, unprofessional, yet passionate, easily distracted, yet driven. She is everything that is contradicting all in one hot mess of a package. Tweak her character and you are changing the show. She proved in the finale that the potential pregnancy could change some of her actions, and I think that’s the key. It gave her a glimpse of a life that she never realized she wanted as badly as she did. I’m still confused why Justin was SO upset with her? As if she intentionally mislead him to believe he was going to be a father. As for Lauren, I can’t stand her! She’s amazing yes, and she doesn’t always deserve Kate’s words or actions, but the nerve she had to fire the true Reed from the firm was revolting. Sad thing is, Kate, as much as she showed her distaste for Lauren, never would’ve stooped that low had she had the chance.

          • lauren says:

            COMPLETELY AGREE with everything you just said. Those are all the things I was thinking while reading the other comments. Also, I don’t understand why people think Michael Trucco “sucks the life out of the show”! I really did like Justin’s character. He is the complete opposite of Kate and clearly they’ve had some issues in the past, but they love each other and he grounds the scatterbrained Kate. Anyway, I’m just glad they renewed it, but nervous about creative changes.

    • Jen H says:

      I think they writers just don’t know what to do with Michael Trucco’s character. Which is fine. Let him go. That way he can hook up with Robin on HIMYM!! Much better place for him than Fairly Legal. I watched out of boredom. I didn’t like Shahi’s character. Leo is the best out of the entire character list. This show has a lot of problems. Sure, it seemed to have potential but it just was not executed in a way that made me excited to watch. I used it as background filler.

      • lauren says:

        OMG, I’m absolutely with you on Trucco going to HIMYM. I was SO excited about that storyline!! Can’t wait to see it unfold.

    • rowan says:

      The characters are very stock. The mean, stiff step-mother, the funny, plucky assistant, the handsome but dull love interest and the gotta love her cause she’s so awesome lead. I think they have not serviced their actors well with yawn inducing seen-it-all-before storylines and blah dialogue. I stopped watching regularly after four episodes and when I would come across one channel surfing, I would end up losing interest again.

      The actors deserve better. I hope this means there is a new showrunner.

  9. Tania says:

    I tried to get into Fairly Legal, but it just seemed so one-note. If there are changes to the series for Season 2, I will give it another shot. Personally, “Life” was so much better with two charismatic leads.

    • TaMara says:

      Two minds with same thoughts. The show has real potential. Trucco is just not an actor I enjoy watching. He may be good looking, but seems so stiff. I enjoyed maybe half the episodes, the rest, including the finale, were shaky at best. Good for USA for giving it a shot to improve.

    • Irishgirl says:

      I loved ‘Life’! Damien Lewis and Shahi were very good together. So bummed when that was cancelled.

  10. kat says:

    If we’re talking tweaks for Fairly Legal, can we please please please tone down Kate’s “quirkiness”? There’s “I’m adorably scatterbrained” and then there’s “I’m incapable of functioning like an adult and am so unprofessional I would never hold a job for more than 2 days if logic applied in TV Land”.

    • Jon says:

      Agreed. Her quirkiness is what turned me off the show in the first place.

    • Irishgirl says:

      EXACTLY!!!! That’s what made her so aggravating and whiny.

    • Steph says:

      I’m glad the show is getting another season. I am curious to see what they change. I would love it if they would tone down Kate’s character a little, especially her running from one place to another, always late but with a great excuse. It drove me crazy. I also don’t like how she always “promises” to make something better.

      I like Trucco’s character, but they just kept going back and forth and getting absolutely nowhere.

    • Heather says:

      Agree 100%. It’s the worst part of the show. She blows off meetings, shows up late to everything, is completely disrespectful to her boss, and takes things said to her in confidence and uses them in cases that gets the person that told the information in trouble. I’m sorry, how exactly is that supposed to be charming? Meanwhile, all she thinks she has to do is smile and say something funny, and everything is forgiven. I like the show but if that doesn’t change, I’ll stop watching it because she is slowly becoming a character I can’t root for.

  11. shara_says says:

    Yeah, I had a hard time getting on board with Fairly Legal. I watched the first few episodes, then wandered off because I am a mediator and the show COMPLETELY misrepresents what mediation is about, and the ethical issues that real mediators actually have to deal with. I have had to spend a LOT of time with clients orienting them to the process, and now this show is one of the bits of misinformation that I have to work against.

  12. Marni says:

    Why was Psych delayed til fall? It seems that that’s throwing it to the wolves

    • Ashley says:

      Probably because it has a better chance of getting good ratings in the fall than some of the other USA shows. It’s been on in the fall before and done pretty well.

  13. Uhhh Ohhhhh! says:

    I thought Fairly Legal was a great show!
    Changes in the creative direction of the show?! Hmm, sounds like it will be unrecognizable. I hope they don’t get rid of Sarah Shahi!

  14. Dbalcer says:

    I enjoyed Fairly Legal as it was. I would enjoy more of Gerald McRaney on the show and more of her brother and less animosity between Kate and Lauren or more of an explanation of what caused the animosity but overall I enjoyed the show and didn’t miss an episode.

  15. Aiden says:

    Fairly Legal had a great first season. I found it as enjoyable as I find Royal Pains and sometimes even more than White Collar. Hopefully, the changes in its creative direction doesn’t ruin the great formula they already have.

  16. bmospr04 says:

    Fairly Legal was somewhat appealing but the main thing they need to change is the stepmother role (Virginia Williams). She is unlikable, gotta get rid of her. Even when they gave her good story lines, her character was so unlikable it didn’t matter. There can be characters that dislike the main characters (Lassitier and Shawn on PSYCH) but they need to be likeable and/or quirkly. Lauren comes off as opportunistic, cold and a gold digger. Kate’s ex could be gone too. They dagged along their relationship for so long, it gets tiring. Let her be single or have them be together but the back and forth doesn’t work for this show. The assistant is on the bad side of goofy and that afro is unrealistic but he works with the show. A lot of work to do but the show works.

  17. Ashley says:

    I LOVED the “In Plain Sight” premiere! The third season felt kind of off to me, so it’s nice to see it get back on track.

    It’ll be interesting to see what creative direction “Fairly Legal” ends up going in. I watched the first season and, while I could see the potential there, it never seemed to hit quite the right note. Hopefully, a part of this new creative direction will mean Kate maturing a bit – I felt like shaking her and yelling “Grow up!” at least once every episode.

  18. fernando says:

    I love fairly legal!

  19. Kacey says:

    More GERALD MCRANEY in FAIRLY LEGAL and I’ll be happy!

  20. Doug says:

    I 2watched Fairly Legal because I find Sarah Shahi irresistible, but the show was pretty badly written. There was no logic or consistency to many of the episodes, individual story plots, or overarcing plots. I think the chemistry and likability of the actors really saved the show, one of the few misfires that USA has had in a long time.

  21. LOCI Lover says:

    Welcome back, Goren and Eames!!!!!!!! Missed you like crazy!

  22. Jenny says:

    I loved Fairly Legal! I hope the creative changes don’t have anything to do with casting. That’s all. They can change whatever they want, as long as the keep Leo, Justin, and Lauren (and Kate, duh)!

  23. maggie says:

    I’m so happy to have “L&O:CI” and “In Plain Sight” back.
    “L&O:CI” wasn’t the same without Goren and Eames.

  24. Miffy says:

    Remember when Gerald McRaney wrecked “Designing Women” by giving Delta a whole room full of chocolate?

  25. De- says:

    GERALD MCRANEY is the best! Please find ways to incorporate more of him into the show….

    Please keep Leo, he is awesome – the best character in the show! He needs a strong love interest!!