The USA Network is one of the first-generation cable channels that has managed to stay afloat since the 1970s thanks to a series of re-inventions, but unlike the channels that underwent makeovers during the reality-TV tidal wave of the late 90s and early 2000s, USA began to change its focus way back in the mid-1980s. Originally a sports network, USA became first a home for nostalgia-tinged reruns and then a producer of popular original programming.
USA got its start in 1971, when it was known as the Madison Square Garden Network. The channel's original programming focused on relatively low-profile sporting events, but by 1979, when it changed its name to the USA Network, the channel was also airing non-sports programs during the daytime hours. In the 1980s, a programming shift filled the schedule with reruns of old game shows, music videos and B movies.
In the 2000s, after the channel was acquired by NBCUniversal, USA put more resources into original programming, including new episodes of NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which moved to USA in 2007. Now a subsidiary of Comcast, USA continues to produce original series, with an emphasis on action/drama series such as "Psych," "Burn Notice" and "White Collar."