‘Royal Pains’ Preview: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Paulo Constanzo and Mark Feuerstein, 'Royal Pains' (USA)

Paulo Constanzo and Mark Feuerstein, 'Royal Pains' (USA)

If breezy summertime fun in the Hamptons is the best medicine, ‘Royal Pains‘ has it in good supply as the USA Network series kicks off its second season on Thursday at 9/8c.

But as you prepare for your new dose of dashing Dr. Hank (played by Mark Feuerstein), enterprising Evan (Paulo Costanzo), lovely Divya (Reshma Shetty) et al, be sure to keep the following “warnings” in mind:

‘Royal Pains’ May Cause Fonziness: On board for Season 2 is ‘Happy Days’ alum Henry Winkler, playing Hank and Evan’s shady pop, Eddie R. Lawson. “It felt like it would be a fun way to go, for the dad to be [played by] someone who’s very likable and very loved, and then we see there’s a little darkness underneath,” says exec producer Michael Rauch. “[Eddie] is an instrumental part of this season in terms of stirring the pot.”

Mark Feuerstein and Henry Winkler, 'Royal Pains' (USA Network)

Mark Feuerstein and Henry Winkler, 'Royal Pains' (USA Network)

‘Royal Pains’ Unveils Improved Formula!: “There definitely were things we liked [about Season 1] and there were things we didn’t like… so there are some character shifts,” says Rauch. The producers also have taken a shine to clearing house” episodes in which multiple storylines overlap at one venue. In Season 2, such a convergence takes place at a Hamptons horse show.

Dosage Now More Concentrated!: Season 2 will deliver 18 episodes, versus a mere 11.

Hot Video: It’s a ‘Royal Pains’ Rap With ‘The Fonz’

Hank’s Love Life May Cause Palpitations: Lest Hank and Jill (Jill Flint) too easily enjoy “their time in the sun,” a new concierge doc played by ‘Damages’ beauty Anastasia Griffith will muddy up the mix. (Alas, Griffith will leave her British accent at home, since Shetty already wields one.)

‘Royal Pains’ Can Cause Flare-Ups (In The Writers Room): One issue that’s debated “vigorously” behind-the-scenes revolves around whether Evan and Divya (who is now promised to another) should ever go there. “For me that tension is so exciting… [I’d hate to] lose that,” says exec producer Andrew Lenchewski, the lone holdout. “But if we did go to that place, there’d be comedy to mine from it.”

HankMed Tries Not To Make ‘House‘ Calls: Thanks to one staff scribe who Rauch hails as “our encyclopedia for all things ‘House,'” ‘Royal Pains’ is careful not to broach bizarre cases similar to Fox’s medical drama.

Jill Flint and Marcia Gay Harden, 'Royal Pains' (USA Network)

Jill Flint and Marcia Gay Harden, 'Royal Pains' (USA Network)

Check Out ‘Royal Pains’ Celeb Endorsements: Among those  joining Winkler in the Hamptons: Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (as a hospital bigwig who ruffles Jill’s feathers), WWE star Paul ‘The Big Show’ Wight (see news story), and ’24’ fave Mary Lynn Rajskub, who “was fantastic and totally against type,” Lenchewski raves. What’s more, Christine Ebersole is set to return as a guest star, and perhaps Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy, too.

Mark Feuerstein Is By No Means a Doctor, Though He Plays One On TV: “I want to assure you that I have never used anything I’ve done in the show in real life,” says the actor. “And that’s a good thing, because if I did, that person surely would die.”

Want scoop on your favorite show, from summer or fall? Email MattMtvguy@gmail.com and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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