With its intricate storytelling, diverse characters and authentic locations, the series continues to be a cornerstone in our lineup of USAs original signature dramas. The renewal comes mere weeks before Covert Affairs returns for the second half of its fourth season, which wrapped its summer run in mid-September. It was one of summers top 10 cable scripted shows, with nearly 4 million viewers. When Covert Affairs returns for the remaining six episodes, co-creatorsMatt Corman and Chris Ordpromise a “totally different show” following CIA agent Annie Walker’s (Piper Perabo) decision to fake her own death and go deep undercover in her continued mission to topple Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin). “This change that we see in Annie at the end [of the finale] is a seismic one and a major one,”Corman told THR in September . “It’s going to launch us into a back six where we see a totally different Annie and a totally different show, and we hope people enjoy it.” “Every episode and every script we’ve been doing is exciting because we get to see a whole new side to Annie and how she operates, and the choices she’s forced to make are a whole new chapter. She’s never been faced with many of these challenges and she doesn’t have the support system to help her. It’s very interesting how she copes with this new paradigm,” Ord told THR. Christopher Gorham, Peter Gallagher, Kari Matchett and Hill Harper also star in the Universal Cable Productions series fromCormanandOrd, who are executive producers along withDoug Liman, David Bartis, Gene KleinandStephen Kay. Gorham will direct the fourth episode of the remaining half of the season. International locations featured this season include Medellin, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Grand Bahama Island and Geneva. Covert Affairs’ renewal comes as USA preps its big original comedy push following the syndication debut of Modern Family, and the return of veteran drama White Collar later this month. Suits is set to return for the back half of season three in early 2014, with Royal Pains already renewed for season six, long-running comedy Psychreturning for season eight and rookie Gracelandpicked up for a sophomore run.The fate of Necessary Roughnesshas not yet been determined.
C-USA Players to Watch
The lone returning member of Conference USA’s all-defensive team, Washburn hampered some of the league’s premier perimeter players last season with his length and quickness. The 6-foot-7 junior held Tulane’s Josh Davis to 6 of 19 shooting in two games and limited Southern Miss star Dwayne Davis to 3 of 13 shooting in their lone matchup. Top NBA prospect: Once Isaac Hamilton backed out of his letter of intent to UTEP during the summer, Conference USA lost its lone prospect already on the NBA’s radar. Perhaps UTEP’s Julian Washburn or Marshall’s Elijah Pittman can play their way into opportunities at the NBA level, but neither they nor anyone else in the league has established themselves at that level yet. Best backcourt: Louisiana Tech. Even on a team that relies on its depth to fuel its full-court pressure and overwhelm opponents, Louisiana Tech will still lean heavily on its starting guards. Raheem Appleby, the Bulldogs’ lone double-digit scorer last year, averaged 14.9 points per game and lit up Florida State for 27 in a first-round NIT victory. Speedy Smith is not a scorer like Appleby, but he creates chances for his teammates off the dribble and he fuels Louisiana Tech’s transition attack with his defense. Best frontcourt: UTEP. Though Tulsa’s duo of D’Andre Wright and Rashad Smith should prove formidable if healthy, it’s the Miners who have the best combination of interior talent and depth. Small forward Julian Washburn is an emerging scorer and an elite defender, 6-foot-8 Cedrick Lang and 6-foot-10 John Bohannon provide low-post scoring, rebounding and experience and 7-foot-1 redshirt freshman Matt Wilms is a former hockey player with the tools to become an all-league player someday. Oh, and don’t forget 6-foot-8 Vince Hunter, a high-scoring freshman capable of contributing immediately. View gallery .
Conference USA preview: Can anyone replace Memphis as the league’s flagship program?
2013-14 C-USA PRESEASON PLAYERS TO WATCH Pierri?enry, Charlotte, Junior, Guard, Charleston, W.Va. Henry was named to the 2013 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team. In each of the last two seasons, Henry has been ranked in the top 10 in the nation in steals per game. Last season, he earned Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player honors after helping the 49ers capture the Great Alaska Shootout title. In 2012, he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team. Henry is the 49ers leading returning scorer after averaging 10.3 points per game last season. In August, Henry went to Liberia with Athletes in Action. Akeem Richmond, East Carolina, Senior, Guard, Sanford, N.C. Richmond is the Pirates’ leading returning scorer this season after averaging 10.6 points in 20 minutes per game as a reserve. A transfer from the University of Rhode Island, Richmond stroked the nets for an ECU-record 105 made three-pointers last season. He led C-USA in three-point field goals made (3.0) and ranked 16th in the country. He has already scored more than 1,000 points in his career and ranks second among all active Division I players with 269 career treys. Richmond is one of 12 players in league history to make 100 or more three-pointers in a single-season.