‘Royal Pains’ Says Goodbye, Almost


Standing on the steps of a sprawling Meadow Lane mansion last week, actor Mark Feuerstein found himself awash with nostalgia—not only for the leading man’s start on “Royal Pains” seven years ago, but for his own childhood and a healthy dose of mischief.

“This is where we shot the pilot,” he recalled of USA’s medical drama/comedy, “and this was the beach where, in my past, my brother and I would try to get on the beaches of Southampton and Bridgehampton.”

It never ended well for the city kids, he laughed, turned away by Coopers Beach parking attendants many a time when they failed to produce a residential parking pass.

These days, Mr. Feuerstein doesn’t need one.

“Suddenly, I was here shooting ‘Royal Pains’ and we’d taken over the whole entire beach,” he said, “and it was like, ‘How you like me now, fellas?’”

He soon found himself on set and in character as Dr. Henry “Hank” Lawson—the concierge medicine go-to for the über-rich Hamptons elite—and ready to shoot scenes for seasons seven and eight, which will air this June and next summer, respectively.

And that will mark the end, according to writer and co-creator Andrew Lenchewski.

“We’re incredibly lucky,” Mr. Lenchewski said on location. “Not many shows get the opportunity to tell the story of a show this full, this complete … We’ve had a really, really good run and, at this point, we—along with the network and the studio—have decided it’s the right time to wrap up the journey for Hank and all these characters that we’ve been following for eight seasons.”

More than 200 cast, crew and others descended upon Southampton for a three-day shoot from April 22-24, roaming the beachfront mansion’s property and nearby Coopers Beach parking lot, where the USA show had set up a staging area. Among them were former NBA star Muggsy Bogues, who will appear in a party scene, and actress Reshma Shetty, who portrays Divya Katdare, Hank’s physician assistant.

“I don’t think I even came out here last year,” Ms. Shetty recalled on location. “It’s a nice day, it would be nice if it were a little warmer, but everything is good. It’s a great show with a great cast and great fans that help us to stay on the air, and that’s a fantastic situation for anybody.”

A bittersweet camaraderie hung in the chilly air as the cast and crew cracked jokes and complained about the cold. This is a show the teamsters will miss when their work on the final season wraps October 2, they explained. Three days later, they will be shooting “The Americans,” they said.

“It sounds cliché, but it’s truly like a family,” location manager Michael Fucci said. “Most of us have been here since season one.”

For audiences who have been watching just as long, they won’t be disappointed by the two-season renewal, Mr. Lenchewski said. The action picks up right where season six left off: Hank and his brother, Evan, searching for their half-sister, Emma, while Divya continues to fight for custody of her daughter, Sashi.

“It’s going to be a really exciting season,” Mr. Lenchewski said. “There’ll be some surprises for Hank in terms of his romantic life that will send him on a whole new journey unlike anything he’s been on before. We’ll also see some old faces—Boris, who’s now going to be owning the hospital and will be up to his old tricks.”

Born nearly a decade ago, “Royal Pains” came to be when NBC was seeking a medical show “with a twist,” Mr. Lenchewski said, and a friend of his suggested the unique medical care as a plotline concept. It just so happened he was a concierge doctor himself, the writer said.

“I thought it was awesome, but it wasn’t exactly the medical show with a twist that NBC was looking for,” he said. “So we brought it to USA and the timing was really good because they had just bought the rerun rights to ‘House’ and were looking for an original medical drama to pair with that, so this fell right in their sweet spot.”

A Roslyn native, Mr. Lenchewski said picking a backdrop was simple, having visited the Hamptons as a child. “It made sense for the community to need a concierge doctor because there’s only one hospital here, and a lot of really wealthy people who would love to have a doctor come to them,” he said.

“And then of course, look outside the window,” he continued, motioning out the second-floor window, watching the waves crash on Coopers Beach just beyond the dunes. “That looks very good on TV.”

The cast and crew enjoyed it while it lasted. Traffic and hospitality limitations associated with the East End summer season mean they will be unable to shoot in the region again until after Labor Day—if at all.

“This is really our last moment out here, so it’s actually very emotional,” Mr. Feuerstein said. “This is where our pilot was made, this is where the show is set; this is where, when I jog on the road, people go, ‘Hey, Hank!’ instead of, ‘Hey, Mark.’”

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