USA picks up 'Royal Pains'

Series eyed as possible companion for off-net 'House' run

USA Network is moving forward with "Royal Pains," giving a series pickup to the show starring Mark Feuerstein as an on-call doctor to the Hamptons elite.

The cable channel has ordered 11 hourlong episodes in addition to the two-hour pilot for a potential summer launch. "Pains" marks the first original series produced for USA by corporate sibling Universal Cable Prods., which was formed in the spring when the cable operations of Universal Media Studios were spun off into a new production entity under Bonnie Hammer.

"Pains" is eyed as a possible companion for "House," the off-network rights to which USA has acquired.

Jeff Wachtel, executive vp original programming at USA and co-head of original content at Universal Cable Prods., said he and executive vp original programming Jackie de Crinis began developing shows centered on a doctor two years ago after they acquired the "House" rights.

" 'Royal Pains' is our first doctor show," Wachtel said. "And I say 'doctor' rather than 'medical' because 'doctor show' means it's more personal and offbeat, and that fits into our brand. 'Medical show' typically means more of a hospital ensemble."

Paulo Costanzo, Jill Flint and Reshma Shetty co star in "Pains," which is exec produced by Rich Frank and Paul Frank and written and co-exec produced by Andrew Lenchewski. John Rogers also is co-executive producer. The pilot's helmer, Jace Alexander, will stay on as directing producer.

"Pains" is one of three cast-contingent 90-minute pilots USA greenlighted last summer, along with "White Collar" and "Operating Instructions," both of which are wrapping casting.