Going through Royal Pains withdrawals? Us too! Yesterday we got the chance to take part in a Q&A with the show's Executive Producers, Andrew Lenchewski and Michael Rauch, who gave us insight on the show's creation and what we may have in store for the upcoming 2nd season. Guest stars, potential hookups, ER drama... We can't wait! Check out the interview below, and be sure to tune in on Thursday, June 3rd on USA Network for the season 2 premiere!
Q: My first question is do you have any trouble finding enough medical maladies for the show? You guys have done some really great ones, so far. Is it difficult to come up with?
A. Lenchewski: Yes and no. One of our writers, Carol Flint, has a common refrain she uses. She worked on ER for a bunch of seasons and she liked to say that there's only so many things that can go wrong with the human body. While that's true, we have the benefit of a brilliant medical advisor named Irv Danesh, or as he's called here on set, Dr. Irv, who runs an ER outside of Boston and he's just a story engine. He has not only a ton of stories to tell but has great ways of getting into medical stories in new and innovative ways and it just sort of helps keep the medicine fresh week to week for us.
Q: Are there any favorite actors of yours that you'd like to snare as guest actors for the show?
M. Rauch: We have a long list of actors that we want to work with in the show. A couple of whom we're lucky enough to be doing this season, like Marcia Gay Harden and Henry Winkler is an actor that we're really excited about. J.B. Smoove, who we're trying to get into one of the episodes and feel like in terms of his ability as a comedian and actor would fit in really nicely.
Q: My favorite thing is when two different shows they crossover, so I'm excited to hear what Big Show is going to be doing on the show this season.
M. Rauch: Big Show starts shooting tomorrow and he's going to be in our third episode of the season playing an actor who is in a kind of cult horror film franchise and his characters name is Garbage Collector. He's hanging out in the Hamptons as part of his getting ready to do the next film and something goes wrong with him medically and he becomes a patient of Hanks.
A. Lenchewski: And the other part of the crossover is that Mark's going to be doing a surprise guest appearance, although I guess it's not so surprise anymore now that I just said it, on Monday Night Raw so we're all looking forward to that.
Q: I'm also curious about Henry Winkler's role on the show.
A. Lenchewski: We knew, obviously, off of the season one ender, the cliffhanger at the end of the finale that this was the major thing we'd be thinking about and talking about during the hiatus was who would be the perfect guy to play Eddie and Henry Winkler was on the short list from the beginning. But what we didn't know was that he had watched the show with his wife in season one, every episode, and was by his own admission a huge fan, which was enormously flattering to us. Then we met him and you could just feel the enthusiasm for the show and the passion for all the opportunities this role could present.
Q: It seems like music is an important part of your show. You use a lot of Indie artists. Can you talk a little bit about the music choices you make for the show?
M. Rauch: Music really is important to us, both within the show and outside of the show and we felt like the whole kind of notion of the show in terms of being a concierge doctor was something that felt like it had not been done before and was new. We felt that we wanted to try as often as possible to bring in things that felt unfamiliar and music felt like a great way to do that. To bring in songs that you didn't have, you didn't remember things when you heard them in other shows, other movies but really would feel fresh in the show and also being able to have the opportunity to give Indie bands breaks.
Q: We're psyched that Mary Lynn Rajskub going to be on the show. Can you tell us a little bit about working with her?
A. Lenchewski: Yes. It's been a real thrill. I think we both were huge fans of her work on 24 and I think as far as we know this is the first guest starring role she's done since she came on 24, at least since 24 started to unwind. But she couldn't be playing a role more different from Chloe on 24. She's actually going to be in the second episode as the stepdaughter of Mrs. Newburg played by Christine Ebersole, who is a recurring character throughout the first season. She just brings a really great warmth and humanity to the character she's playing along with her trademark quirky sense of humor. It's been really cool to work with her.
Q: My first question is Dr. Hank Lawson is the perfect fish tossed out of water and he really fits in the whole USA Network of shows. I wanted to ask how you presented the concept and how you got in with USA.
A. Lenchewski: The concept came from a friend of mine whose family had been using a concierge physician and he asked me if I thought it might be a good idea for a T.V. show and I said I thought it was the perfect idea for a T.V. show. So along with two of our fellow executive producers that work with me and Michael, Rich Frank and Paul Frank, we went into USA and we pitched them the idea and serendipitously they had just acquired the rights to air reruns of House on the network and I think they we're looking for an original medical drama to pair with it. So our timing couldn't have been better and they really embraced the idea of doing something in this blue skies world of the Hamptons centered on a strong central character like Hank. They bought the idea and then I went off to write the script and then they picked that up, the pilot.
Q: Will Divya and Evan ever get together? I do love watching them fight, but I was wondering if they'd ever hook up?
M. Rauch: It depends who you're asking, Frederic. We have a disagreement in the writers' room about that but one of the things that we love is their dynamic together and the tension they have between each other. The big question is if they ever do hook up would it destroy that, or would it make it even stronger? We don't know yet, so we can't tell you. But I would definitely say just keep watching and at some point we'll all find out.
Q: Is the second season still the same summer as the first season or has time passed?
M. Rauch: It is -- we refer to it as the endless summer so it is. It's basically almost immediately following the finale of season one.
Q: If Hank and Jill don't get together and I'm okay with the Ross and Rachel-ness of it all, for now, are you guys planning on [any] other love interests in the meantime?
M. Rauch: We definitely last year had Jill with her husband, ex-husband, Charlie, and now this season, that they're taking some time off from each other we definitely do want to explore the possibility of Hank meeting some other women as well. We definitely have a character in mind who we'll be introducing early on.
Q: What would it take for Divya to tell her parents about her job and her dreams? Seriously, what Indian parents would have a problem with a doctor for a daughter, granted she's not a doctor per se, but she is in medicine?
A. Lenchewski: I think for us it was less about playing to or against any stereotypes that may exist, rightly or wrongly. It was just about a character rebelling against the expectations of her parents and in this case her passion was for medicine. And in this case her parents expectations were for her to sort of fall into line with tradition and with going into the family business in this particular case.
Q: This question is about in writing an individual episode. You have the character development, looking into what you're looking, hints your giving us about the future, there was also the medical aspect, what the medical problem's going to be. How does the situation go amongst the writers? When they say, alright, are you starting with the situation, a medical thing, a character? What brings up the next topic that we're going to see in the next week?
M. Rauch: Well, it's a really good question and I'll try to answer it as simply, although it's complicated, because we have a great team of writers of which we're just two, but there are six other ones. We all sit together and talk about each episode and sometimes it's driven by, okay, what do we owe from last episode in terms of a storyline? Sometimes it's driven by a great medical idea that one of us will have come up with or our medical advisor and consultant, Dr. Irv Danesh will come up with. But usually, what happens is we have an A story that we want to follow and then we start talking about a B story and try to both have a single episode storyline in terms of the medical cases but also be able to continue our relationships from episode to episode. Often times it's the medicine that drives an episode but what feels like is just as often it's really the character stuff which is equally important to us.
What are you looking forward to in the Royal Pains season 2 premiere?