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2013 TV Upfronts: USA gets funny with 'Sirens,' 'Playing House'

The “blue skies” network is about to get a little more diverse: On Thursday, USA announced series order for two half-hour comedies as well as a WWII drama from “The Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd.

“Sirens,” from executive producer Denis Leary, will follow three Chicago EMTs and is based on a UK series of the same name. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham will executive-produce and star in “Playing House,” a single-camera comedy about two best friends --  one single and career-driven, the other expecting a child.

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They are the first half-hour sitcoms from the network, and will launch early in 2014, several months after USA begins airing repeats of “Modern Family” on Sept. 24.

Another first for the network is an upcoming period piece, “Horizon,” about an FBI secretary set at the height of WWII, from Hurd. The pilot will go into production this summer.

The new projects are the latest effort by the top-rated cable entertainment network to branch out from its trademark cheerful scripted, one-hour series.   

Arriving June 6 is “Graceland,” a serial drama about a group of DEA, FBI and customs agents living together in a Southern California beach house. While the sunny locale and family dynamic is in keeping with USA’s other offerings like “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains,” “Graceland” is decidedly edgier material.

And last month USA also premiered “The Moment,” its first unscripted series, and there’s more reality on the way this summer, including the competition series “Summer Camp.”

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