The USA Network is an American basic cable network. It was founded in 1971 as the Madison Square Garden Network, but was renamed the USA Network when it was purchased by the UA-Columbia Cablevision system and MCA Inc. It is currently owned by NBC Universal. Like fellow basic cable networks FX (owned by News Corporation) and TBS (owned by Time Warner), it has, for most of its history, been a repository for reruns, movies and sports, but in the last few years, it has found success with such original series as Monk and Burn Notice.
The USA Network was founded in 1971 as a local New York City network, the Madison Square Garden Network, but its early decision to use satellite delivery rather than the more traditional terrestrial delivery method made it one of America's first national networks. As a result of this decision, in 1979, it was renamed as the USA Network.
Throughout most of the 1980s, it aired almost exclusively movies, reruns and sports. What original programming it had was minimal - limited mostly to family programming of repackaged cartoons, such as Calliope, and the late night anthology series Night Flight. It also changed hands multiple times. At various points throughout its history, it was owned or co-owned by such companies as Time Warner, Viacom, the Seagram Company, the Home Shopping Network and Vivendi Universal. It also diversified its own holdings. In 1992, it created the Sci Fi Channel, and in 1999, it purchased October Films and Gramercy Pictures. The resultant company, USA Films, released such hits as Being John Malkovich, Gosford Park and The Pianist.
NBC Universal took over officially as the owners of the USA Network in 2004, and they have since diversified USA's lineup to include more original episodic programming. Since the early 21st century, the USA Network has experienced original hits with such programs as The 4400 and Monk. Additionally, USA will sometimes re-air new episodes of NBC shows shortly after running, with recent examples including Chuck and Life. Additionally, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which ran on NBC, has been moved to USA.
- Program Listing: A complete listing of shows that aired new episodes on USA.