PASADENA — The USA Network will use the popularity of its legal drama "Suits" on Thursday night to draw attention to its new series "Sirens," a dark comedy about EMTs from Denis Leary.
Despite the offbeat and wacky nature of the new USA Network program "Sirens" from executive producers Leary and Bob Fisher, don't look for Leary to be part of the cast. He is having a much better time working behind the scenes.
"I just sit there and smoke and laugh. I sit at the monitor. I smoke and I laugh and drink coffee. It's (expletive deleted) the greatest job yet," Leary says.
The three Chicago EMTs will be played by Michael Mosley, Kevin Daniels and Kevin Bigley. They will deal with offbeat cases, such as having odd items placed in weird places, patients being more worried about porn on their computer than health care and the effects of seeing senior citizens in the deep throws of passion.
Because Leary's last series, "Rescue Me," was born out of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, the cable series about an offbeat group of firefighters had comedic elements but at its heart had a dark core. "Sirens" has the same comedy elements, but the dark core has been traded for a more bizarre center.
Leary swears the majority of the stories are based on real events and will give the show a solid base.
"A lot of the stories that we're using come from EMTs that we know, that I know. My wife is a volunteer EMT. Bill McGoldrick, who's now at Syfy channel, who was at USA when we started, he had a buddy who was a paramedic and an EMT. And so we got a lot of these stories from that world," Leary says. "But it does allow us to be absolutely, insanely funny without having to carry the weight. Because I think the job gives them some liberty, too, but there's a lot of funny things that happen in their jobs."
"Sirens" will launch after the second half of the third season of "Suits" debuts.
"Suits" is a legal drama about a college dropout, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who persuades one of New York's top attorneys, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), to give him a job as a lawyer despite not having a degree. The pair work well together, but they must protect their secret.
Executive producer Rick Hofman explains — sort of — how that secret will be dealt with in the upcoming episodes.
"I think these next six episodes, in a very unconventional way, does not resolve, or somewhat there is resolve, but it pretty much in a very smart way the writers created a much deeper, more dangerous type of a situation so it's not something that keeps getting played over and over again. There's a real serious, serious element of deceit," Hofman says.
Gina Torres, who portrays one of the managing partners in the firm, suggests that while the lack of legitimate credentials for Ross was a big part of the first season, the show has been able to develop enough on-screen relationships that those story lines are even more interesting.
She says, "It's not just, 'Oh, here's this smart dude that's pretending to be a lawyer,'" Torres says. "Now we're invested in all of these people deeply. We share losses with them. We share wins with them. We have a great deal of respect for them. So it's so the stakes continue to get higher."
"Suits": 9 p.m. Thursday, March 6, on USA Network. "Sirens": 10 p.m. Thursday, March 6, on USA Network.