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'Royal Pains'' Mark Feuerstein Joins the Ranks of TV Stars Turned Directors

Royal Pains
Giovanni Rufino/USA Network

"I think this is a natural extension for anyone who has the wherewithal and is passionate about storytelling," the actor says.

When Royal Pains actor Mark Feuerstein took his seat in the director's chair Aug. 31, he joined a growing roster of TV stars moving behind the camera.

STORY: Mark Feuerstein Directing Episode of USA's 'Royal Pains' (Exclusive)

The practice has become increasingly prominent as stars including Mad Men's Jon Hamm, Chuck's Zachary Levi and Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd have taken directorial turns. It's a particularly popular strategy at USA Network, where everyone from Burn Notice's Jeffrey Donovan to White Collar's Tim DeKay to Psych's James Roday has directed at least one episode of their respective shows. (Roday has three under his belt, with another two forthcoming; Donovan got an additional director credit on the series' prequel film.)

"Who knows these shows better than they do?" says USA senior vp original scripted programming Bill McGoldrick.

The network frequently waits until a show is a few seasons in before granting the opportunity to its stars. Says Feuerstein, who is helming the 13th episode of Pains' third season, "I think this is a natural extension for anyone who has the wherewithal and is passionate about storytelling."