Before it became home to intense critical darlings like Mr. Robot and Monday Night RAW, USA was the place on basic cable for breezy, inoffensive dramedy procedurals and Monday Night RAW. Psych, the detective comedy from creator Steve Franks, is the prototypical USA show and the one that’s had the most staying power since it left airwaves. Thanks to an endearing cast, a clever premise and a seemingly endless supply of pop culture nerdery, Psych continues to attract new binge-watching viewers in droves. Now, all of those viewers are getting a ittle Christmas present.
The series – which went off the air in 2014 after 8 seasons – will return this December for Psych: The Movie, a new two-hour holiday special, the network announced Monday. Original stars James Roday, Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Corbin Bernsen and Kirsten Nelson are all on board, along with several fan favorite guest stars. Roday and Franks co-wrote the TV movie, which will see the whole gang reunited during the holidays when someone goes after one of their own.
“Psych is a beloved part of our USA family, and what better time to reunite with family than the holidays.” Chris McCumber, entertainment networks president for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said in a statement. “Steve and James have taken the unique brand of comedy that the series honed over eight seasons and packed it in to a two-hour movie that successfully rekindles one of the greatest bro-mances in television history.”
Pych, for those still uninitiated, follows the detective adventures of Shawn Spencer (Roday) and his best friend Burton "Gus” Guster (Hill). Shawn, a slacker, was raised by his police officer father (Bernsen) to have keen powers of observation, which he uses to call in tips on local crimes. When the police suspect he knows too much to simply be a bystander, Shawn is brought in for questioning and claims his knowledge comes from psychic powers. When a skeptical pair of detectives (Omundson and Lawson) are unable to prove he isn’t a psychic, Shawn gains a new ally in the local police chief (Nelson) and opens up a psychic detective agency. Each week, he and Gus team up with local cops to solve a variety of crimes, all while keeping the true nature of his gifts a secret.
That’s the hook, but it’s not what’s earned Psych a cult following and hordes of fans at places like San Diego Comic-Con. That comes from very clever writing (the worst Psych episode is still more fun than the best episodes of other procedurals) and a surplus of cast chemistry spearheaded by Roday, Hill and a whole lot of pet names. Plus, Psych was a show always willing to take its already goofy premise into the realm of outright lunacy with episodes riffing on Clue, Twin Peaks, Friday the 13th and more. It’s the kind of show that can say “Hey, we’re doing a musical episode” and fans will respond “Yup, that makes perfect sense.” It’s the kind of show that always felt like everyone making it was really having fun. That gets infectious really fast.
Now Psychs brand of fun is coming back for the holidays. If you’re one of those people who makes a habit of recording every special on cable each December, you might want to make a mental note to free up some space on the ol’ DVR.