Gillian Alexy (Damages, The Americans), Patrick Breen (Kevin Hill), Jeremy Davidson (The Americans), Martha Higareda (El Mariachi) and Natalie Hall (True Blood, Star Crossed) have landed guest star or recurring roles in the upcoming season of Royal Pains. Alexy will recur as the mysterious Charlotte, who Hank (Mark Feuerstein) met while traveling in Europe. Breen will play Bob, an unconventional couples counselor who has a big impact on Paige (Brooke D’Orsay) and Evan (Paulo Costanzo). Davidson will play new Ray Mazzarino, a new HankMed patient who recently moved to the Hamptons for a fresh start and goes into business with Evan. Higareda is Viviana, the lively bartender at a quiet local bar that becomes a sanctuary for Jeremiah (Ben Shenkman). Hall plays Hope, a burlesque dancer who asks for Jeremiah’s help when she complains of pain during her act. Season 6 of the USA Network medical drama premieres June 10.
Related: Summer Premiere Dates On Broadcast And Cable
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USA Network is shaking things up this summer with a schedule that features four returning series moving to new time slots, joined by two new shows, dramas series Rush and Satisfaction, paired together. This is a rare new drama series launch on USA where the newbies are not slotted behind established series. Rush and Satisfaction (formerly untitled Sean Jablonski) will premiere July 17, airing Thursdays at 9 PM and 10 PM, respectively. Rush, from writer-director Jonathan Levine and Fox 21, examines the world of renegade physician Dr. William Rush (Tom Ellis), a “medical fixer” who privately caters to LA’s elite. Satisfaction, from Universal Cable Prods, stars Matt Passmore and explores modern marriage at its midpoint. (watch the first trailer below). Read More »
Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein has teamed with longtime pals Adam Stein and Sam Friedlander to co-create hourlong drama Flipside, which tracks three best friends as they live out two distinct alternate paths after graduating from college – one that sees them staying in their Minnesota hometown and another in which they chase their dreams in New York City. Feuerstein, Friedlander, and Stein previously collaborated on comedy short Lazy Monday, a response video to SNL‘s Lazy Sunday digital sketch. The trio will take Flipside out to networks next week before Feuerstein returns to Royal Pains to film the upcoming sixth season. As part of their pitch for Flipside, Stein and Friedlander shot a proof of concept teaser starring Ben Goldsmith, Meg Cionni, and Blake Cooper Griffin as the central besties. The co-creators credit the video with garnering them preliminary interest from broadcast and cable nets. Canadian production company Muse Entertainment is attached to deficit finance the project, which is produced by Wind Dancer Films whose Matt Williams, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, and Judd Payne are exec producing alongside Present Pictures’ Jen Dubin and Cora Olsen. This marks Feuerstein’s latest project behind the camera after 2009′s Crackle web series The Hustler, which he wrote, directed, and starred in, and Royal Pains, on which he’s also a producer. IAM Entertainment is repping the project. Feuerstein is repped by UTA; Stein is with WME; Friedlander and Cionni are repped by Aperture Entertainment. Take a look at the exclusive concept teaser for Flipside: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As production on the fifth season of USA Network hit Royal Pains begins, the series’ executive producers and showrunners Andrew Lenchewski and Michael Rauch have renewed their individual overall deals with the studio behind it, Universal Cable Prods. Under the pacts, Lenchewski and Rauch will continue to oversee the series starring Mark Feuerstein. Additionally, Rauch and Lenchewski each have projects in development at USA.
Rauch will executive produce a family drama, written and co-executive produced by Ken Lin, following two brothers (one an ex-con, the other a small-town cop) who inherit their failing family business and turn it into a multibillion-dollar cult pyramid scheme. As they reunite and re-tie family bonds, they navigate the dangers inherent in selling the most addictive, seductive, and volatile substance in the world: hope. Lenchewski will executive produce and write drama American Confidential, in which a principled Secret Service agent is forced by the White House to cover up secret after secret. The show explores the toll that deception takes on him. UCP will produce with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ studio-based pod Hypnotic. Additionally, Lenchewski executive produces previously announced USA half-hour single-camera comedy project Speak American, written/co-exec produced by Benjamin Brand. Read More »
Royal Pains, which stars Mark Feuerstein as the go-to Hamptons “doctor for hire”, has cast Frances Conroy (American Horror Story, Six Feet Under) in a multi-episode story arc for Season 5 of the USA Network series. She will star as Blythe Ballard, a member of the Hamptons “royalty” who lives in the estate next to Hank (Feuerstein) and Evan’s (Paulo Costanzo) residence, Shadow Pond. Also cast are Callum Blue (Smallville, The Tudors) in a recurring role and Stephen Bishop (Moneyball), Kevin Kilner (House Of Cards), and Liza Lapira (Don’t Trust the B— In Apartment 23) in guest-starring roles. Ben Shenkman has been upped to regular for the show’s 13-episode fifth season, which is set to premiere in the summer. Season 5 production began last week. It moves to Savannah, GA, then internationally before returning to its Brooklyn and Long Island home base. The Universal Cable Prods-produced series is written and executive produced by Andrew Lenchewski and Michael Rauch. Paul Frank and Rich Frank also serve as executive producers with and Carol Flint, Jeff Kwatinetz from ProspectPark and Connie Burge. Jon Sherman, Jack Bernstein co-executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Paulo Costanzo has signed up for That Burning Feeling. The Royal Pains star will play the lead role of Adam Murphy in the independent romantic comedy. The film has Murphy as a guy who has it all, success, women, charm. One day he loses it and, in his fall, starts going through his book of exes to find out who he really is. Star Trek’s John Cho and former Animal Practice actor Tyler Labine co-star. Jason James directs That Burning Feeling from a script by Nick Citton. Marc Stephenson is producing and Mary Anne Waterhouse is executive producing. Costanzo will also be appearing in Pirates Of The Caribbean and The Lone Ranger scribe Terry Rossio’s untitled directorial short. Marisa Tomei co-stars in the science-based drama, which is shooting in LA later this year. Costanzo is repped by Gersh, Principato-Young and attorney Rick Genow.
Related: USA’s ‘Royal Pains’, ‘White Collar’ & ‘Covert Affairs’ Renewed
Three days into the astronomical fall, USA Network has made the first renewal decision on its summer series, picking up additional seasons of established performers Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. For Royal Pains, the pickup is for 26 episodes across two additional seasons, the show’s fifth and sixth. White Collar and Covert Affairs have each received a 16-episode renewal for a fifth and fourth season, respectively. “In an increasingly competitive landscape, these series got new season pickups the old-fashioned way – they earned it,” said USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. The move comes as USA wrapped a seventh consecutive summer as the No. 1 cable network across all key demos. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: According To Jim alumna Kimberly Williams-Paisley is returning to ABC with a multi-episode arc on the network’s new drama series Nashville, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak (Connie Britton) and one on the rise (Hayden Panettiere). On the Lionsgate/ABC Studios series, Williams-Paisley will play Peggy Samper, an old flame and former co-worker of Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), husband of Rayna Jaymes (Britton). Williams-Paisley, repped by Gersh and Kritzer, Levine, Wilkins, Griffin, Nilon, knows well the Nashville music scene — she lives in Nashville and is married to country music star Brad Paisley.
Tessa Thompson is set to recur on another new ABC drama, 666 Park Avenue, about a young couple (Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor) who sign up as managers of a mysterious Manhattan building. Thompson will play Laurel Harris, a media consultant with an inside track on New York politics. She entices Henry (Annable) with her contacts, offering to open doors for him, and her presence complicates his relationship with his girlfriend (Taylor).
Meet another Lawson. Charley Koontz has booked a two-episode arc on hit USA series Royal Pains, playing Hank and Evan’s likeable overweight cousin who is suffering from a medical condition exacerbated by his extra weight. Owen was taken advantage of financially by … Read More »
Looks like the Force is truly strong with this one after all. Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove were handed a new life yesterday in their suit with USA Network over Royal Pains. The brothers allege that the idea for the USA series was lifted from their much-circulated Housecall show concept and they want to be compensated. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed. “Plaintiffs-Appellant adequately alleged a contract that includes an implied promise to pay. Because this claim is based on rights that are not the equivalent of those protected by the Copyright Act, it is not preempted,” said Judge John Walker. The Judge’s 25-page ruling (Read it here) reversed a federal court dismissal of the case last year on the grounds of copyright outweighing breach of contract allegation Christensen’s Forest Park production company developed their Housecall idea several years ago. Like Royal Pains, which debuted in June 2009, Housecall detailed the exploits of a disgraced doctor who took to privately treating the wealthy. The Christensen’s show took place in Malibu not the Hamptons as the USA Network’s series does, but otherwise the shows are very similar. The brothers met with USA’s Alex Sepiol about Housecall but never had a deal. However those meetings provide the foundation for the Christensen’s breach of implied contract claim. “Because Forest Park has alleged an enforceable implied-in-fact contract including a promise of payment for the … Read More »
FX Announces Midseason Schedule
USA Network has firmed up its midseason schedule, which will feature the return of White Collar on January 17 and Royal Pains on January 18 and the premiere of new drama Common Law on January 26. White Collar and Royal Pains will air on the same nights they did in the summer — Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively — but will slide from 9 PM to 10 PM. Common Law, which stars Michael Ealy and Warren Kole as a pair of detectives forced to attend couples counseling, will air Thursdays at 10 PM. For the first time in awhile for a rookie USA series, Common Law will launch with no original lead-in from an established show. This past midseason, Fairly Legal launched on Thursdays 10 PM behind Royal Pains.
HBO’s off-beat comedy series Eastbound & Down will return for a third season on February 19, followed by the debut of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s latest series Life’s Too Short. The comedies will air in the 10 PM hour, following new drama Luck, which launches January 29 following a preview after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11. Life’s Too Short is a faux documentary starring actor Warwick Davis as a fictionalized version of himself: a down-and-out little person desperately trying to hustle and connive his way back into the spotlight. Gervais will be able to promote Life’s Too Short with his stint as host of the Golden Globes in January. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: These days, Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park is known mostly for its headline-making deal to continue to produce ABC’s canceled soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. But the new daytime player has quietly been building a primetime presence since the company’s 2008 launch and is now making a push to expand it, with former ABC exec Josh Barry recently joining Paul Frank as a partner in the TV division. Prospect Park has set up seven series projects at networks and studios around town, all executive produced by Kwatinetz, Barry, Frank and his father, Prospect Park partner Rich Frank, as well as the projects’ writers. So far, the company has had a perfect pilot-to-series batting average, with both of its pilots, USA Network’s Royal Pains and FX’s Wilfred, going to series that have become breakout hits for their networks. Wilfred was renewed for a second season last month, while Royal Pains was picked up for Season 4 yesterday.
One of Prospect Park’s new projects reunites the company with FX and Wilfred co-creator and star Jason Gann. GILF, which will be written by Gann, centers on an adopted man who, at the urging of his wife, seeks out his biological mother, discovers she’s a former porn star, invites her to move in, and forces his family to deal with the unpredictable consequences. Here is a list of Prospect Park’s other projects in development: Read More »
After it just wrapped a sixth consecutive summer ratings victory, USA Network has renewed the remaining three original summer series that hadn’t gotten a pickup yet: sophomore Covert Affairs, veteran Royal Pains and freshman Necessary Roughness. All have received 16-episode orders. “USA’s original programming blew through all expectations this summer,” USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said. “Every series in our unprecedented lineup was a standout.”
USA unspooled a record eight original series this summer and, with the exception of Law & Order: CI, which ended its 10-season run, the network has renewed all others including White Collar, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight (for a final season), freshman Suits and now Covert Affairs, Royal Pains and Necessary Roughness. USA’s haul of seven series renewals in one season is the largest ever for a cable network and more than the broadcast networks normally bring back too. What’s more, USA didn’t cancel a single show, also something pretty unprecedented. Read More »
Last season, USA Network’s flagship series Royal Pains introduced Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan R. Lawson’s (Paulo Costanzo) dad Eddie Lawson, played by Henry Winkler. Now the upcoming third season will go down another generation, with veteran Ed Asner tapped for a two-episode arc as Ted Roth, Hank and Evan’s grandfather and Eddie’s dad. Asner, repped by Greene & Associates and manager Perry Zimel, recently starred on CMT’s first sitcom Working Class. He is now touring the country with his one-man show FDR and will next be seen in the HBO movie Too Big to Fail.
Meagan Good has joined Showtime’s dark comedy Californication for a major recurring role. Good, who will appear in nine of the 12 episodes of Californication‘s upcoming fifth season, will play Kali, an extremely hot up-and-coming hip-hop artist. Good, who recently did an arc on BET’s The Game, has three movies coming out in the next month: Jumping the Broom, Video Girl, which she also produced, and 35 and Ticking. She is with Gersh and Untitled.
While the broadcast networks are largely retreating from original scripted programming this summer, leading cable network USA is prepping its largest original series summer slate with eight series: newbies Suits (aka A Legal Mind) and Necessary Roughness and returning shows White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and the the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. USA will use its biggest shows, Burn Notice and Royal Pains, to launch its new series, Suits and Necessary Roughness, respectively. Additionally, the network’s first reality series in five years, WWE Tough Enough, will continue to air on Monday, bringing the total of USA’s original summer series to nine and its nights of originals to five. Interestingly, Friday, where USA launched its scripted ascent, is staying dark. Network chief Jeff Wachtel had indicated that reclaiming the night was a priority. Missing from the summer schedule is veteran Psych, which won’t return until the fall. Here is USA’s original summer lineup with premiere dates (new series in bold): Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein is heading into the third season of USA Network’s flagship series with a big salary bump. I hear Feuerstein, who was making around $75,000 an episode, will now see his pay double to about $135,000 an episode ($140,000-150,000 if additional compensation, including bonuses, is factored in.) In exchange, under his renegotiated deal with Royal Pains producer Universal Cable Prods., I hear Feuerstein is adding an extra year to his current contract for the show.
Royal Pains, starring Feuerstein as a concierge doctor in the Hamptons, has become USA’s highest-rated series in total viewers and adults 18-49. Last year, it averaged 7.3 million viewers and 3.1 million in 18-49. Production on Season 3 of the show is slated to begin shortly. Renegotiating lead actors’ contracts for a bigger paycheck is common practice after the second season of successful series. Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay, the stars of USA’s other series heading into Season 3, White Collar, also recently received significant salary increases. Feuerstein is with UTA and Framework.
It is a big week on cable and broadcast, with a lot of series returning to originals. That includes USA Network’s Royal Pains, the cable network’s most watched series, which launches the winter portion of its sophomore season tomorrow (Thursday). Here is a music video spot for the medical/family dramedy set in the Hamptons which features the song Wristwatch by Hungry Kids of Hungary.