Michael Westen may have gotten burned in the spy business, but in the TV business, he’s doing just fine. Burn Notice, the USA series that centers around his character, is doing so well that it’s been picked up for both its fifth and sixth seasons, before the fourth even begins airing.
Jeffrey Donovan stars as Westen, a spy who had been tagged as unreliable or dangerous and is now back in his hometown of Miami. Without access to his cash or previous influences, he’s not able to leave. He works with his ex, a weapons expert, and an old acquaintance who works as a double agent to help figure out how to get him out of this mess. This all puts him back in touch with his mother on a regular basis. Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, and Sharon Gless also star, and Coby Bell has signed on for season four.
USA’s president of original programming Jeff Wachtel jokingly told Variety, “Once Saturday Night Live makes fun of you, how can you not commit to extra seasons?” SNL poked fun with a skit having game show contestants being quizzed about their knowledge of Burn Notice.
More importantly, the series has remained a popular part of the cable channel’s original programming. Including the live-plus seven data, Burn Notice averaged 7.1 million viewers last season and 3.3 million of those were in the 18-49 demo.
Wachtel believes the series was set up for success when, during the development process, it was decided to move filming of the series from Newark, New Jersey to Miami to make it brighter and sunnier.
With season four of Burn Notice set to debut on USA on June 3rd, seasons five and six are expected to air over the next couple summers. As of now, season five will be made up of a minimum of 15 installments and season six will have at least 18.
In addition, USA has also acquired the off-cable rights to the series. They’ll begin showing repeats daily starting in October 2011. Additionally, MyNetworkTV will begin showing back to back repeats on Wednesdays this fall.
What do you think? Are you glad to hear that Burn Notice has been renewed for two seasons or, would you prefer USA put its resources into another series?