With pretty people under blue skies, USA Network was chasing good viewership numbers and ratings like no other cable network. They had a clear vision of what the channel was about, and they knew exactly what kind of shows they wanted to air. One of those shows was the Tim DeKay/Matt Bomer starrer WHITE COLLAR, in which the former, an FBI agent, had to deal with the latter, a con artist freshly broken out of prison, to capture a bunch of titular bad guys, while Matt Bomer’s character continued to get involved in his girlfriend’s mysterious activities. Because not even a show on USA couldn’t live without a little bit of a worldbuilding story.
The show was a success for the basic cable network during its first season. 5.4 million viewers tuned in for the pilot episode, and throughout the season the show only managed to crash below the 1.0 rating in the target demo twice – which might not look good at all for some shows, but USA knew from the beginning that WHITE COLLAR is going to be a long-running drama with all the blue skies and pretty people in the world, and not even the two episodes with a 0.9 rating could demolish USA’s dreams to have a permanent successful show on their hands. And you always have a good show on your hands, when you can get out of a 0.9 rating twice, as well as add a million viewers after you lost almost a million and a half only a week ago.