The first season of Psych originally aired in the United States on the USA Network television network between July 7, 2006 and March 2, 2007. Produced by Universal Cable Productions and Tagline Television, the series was created by Steve Franks, who served as executive producer with Kelly Kulchak and Chris Henze.
The comedy-drama series focuses on Shawn Spencer, a police consultant who pretends to be psychic, and his assistant Burton "Gus" Guster, a pharmaceuticals salesman. The season consisted of fifteen 43-minute episodes, which aired at 10:00 p.m. on Fridays. Franks conceived the idea for the show when producers at Columbia Pictures requested he pitch them ideas for a TV program while he was working on the film Big Daddy. Initially rejected, the concept was shelved for several years until Franks collaborated with Kulchak to create an hour-long TV show. USA Network picked up the program, initially ordering an eleven-episode season.
Overall, the first season has received generally positive reviews from critics. Initially, the show was met with mixed to negative reviews, with episodes later in the season receiving generally positive reception. Many critics compared the series to its lead-in program, Monk, leading to negative opinions on the program's originality. The premiere episode was watched by approximately 6.1 million viewers, making it the highest-rated scripted series premiere for a cable network. However, ratings decreased for the following episodes, with the next highest-rated episode achieving just 4.76 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings. The season finale, "Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast", received the best reviews of the season and saw an increase in viewership.
When Shawn Spencer is arrested for calling in an accurate tip to the police because only the perpetrator would know the details, his only way out is pretending to be a psychic. It turns out Santa Barbara PD isn't done with him. They ask him to consult on a kidnapping case, and a business is born.
When what begins as a little competitive sabotage in a regional spelling bee quickly escalates to murder. Shawn and Gus must investigate the mysterious death of the "Spellmaster" at the regional Spelling Bee.
Shawn and Gus become wedding crashers at a posh ceremony in order to retrieve a stolen antique engagement ring inexplicably taken from an inpenetrable vault under surveillance. And theft turns to murder when things start to come unraveled.
Shawn and Gus land their first non-SBPD case when a widow hires them to find some cash that her husband stole from a bank. Shawn is asked to talk to a spirit and help the widow of the thief.
Shawn claims a psychic connection with a cat so he can continue his investigation into a what he believes is a murder, but that the police have labeled a suicide, and the link he finds to a hotline may involve one of SBPD's own officers.
Shawn and Gus attend a Civil War reenactment rehearsal for the sheer pleasure of watching Lassiter have a nervous breakdown as he runs it, but when a scripted death turns real they end up donning uniforms themselves in order to find the murderer and perhaps prevent another.
Shawn reluctantly settles for a private client who claims a ghost has it in for him after Lassiter kicks Gus and him off the much more interesting case of a murdered psychologist, but the two investigations seem to be running parallel and Shawn may still end up solving the police's case.
Gus is ecstatic when it turns out the only real clue in his and Shawn's missing-person case is TriCon, the comic book and science fiction convention currently running in Santa Barbara. As bodies start turning up, they must balance their newly-scammed and increasingly onerous duties as George Takei's assistants with finding the killer and saving the teenager.
Henry's old captain believes he's solved a murder, but his Alzheimer's has caused him to forget the most important details: the crime, and who committed it. Henry calls in Shawn and Gus who find themselves investigating a murder that happened decades ago and only the faulty memory of the retired officer gives them any hope of closing the case.
When Lassiter doubts his own crime-solving ability, Shawn tries to boost his confidence by helping him solve an astronomer's mysterious death.
The duo's latest case, a gag from Lassiter, turns from an alien abduction investigation to a murder case with the discovery of naked body. Between tanning salons, speed dating and Henry disagreeing with their prime suspects, it's possible Lassiter will solve the case before Shawn and Gus can.
A local weatherman is found dead the morning after a tryst and his lover is charged with his murder despite her claims of innocence. Shawn is intrigued and becomes a defense consultant in order to gain access to the case.
Lonely and bored, Shawn convinces Juliet to give him a shot with a case involving a missing tennis star, but first he has to spring an unwilling Gus from a corporate retreat.
Henry's friend refuses to report his son, Brandon, missing after the son steals 30,000 dollars. Shawn agrees to help locate the son, and finds out that Brandon has been involved in some underground poker. Meanwhile, O'hara tries to surprise Lassiter on his birthday.
Juliet asks Shawn and Gus for assistance on her undercover assignment. They're only too glad to help, since it involves sorority sisters. Unfortunately, what's supposed to be an easy case turns out to have ties to their past and may endanger Juliet. Meanwhile, Lassiter locks horns with the oldest rookie the departments has ever trained.