Royal Pains - Transcript of Michael Rauch and Andrew Lenchewski Conference Call - DOC by daet

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									Final Transcript

  Royal Pains Q&A with Michael Rauch and Andrew Lenchewski
  January 10, 2011/4:00 p.m. EST


Laura Murphy – New Media Strategies
Michael Rauch – Executive Producer, Royal Pains
Andrew Lenchewski – Creator & Executive Producer, Royal Pains


Moderator           Welcome to the Royal Pains Q&A with Michael Rauch and Andrew

                    Lenchewski. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode.

                    Later, there will be a question and answer session and instructions will be

                    given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

                    I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Laura Murphy.

L. Murphy           Good afternoon. This is Laura Murphy from New Media Strategies. I’d

                    like to thank everyone for joining us for today’s Royal Pains Q&A session
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            and start things off by thanking Michael and Andrew for being with us

            today to answer questions. As you know, Michael Rauch is the Executive

            Producer of Royal Pains and Andrew Lenchewski is the Creator and Co-

            Executive Producer. New episodes of Royal Pains premiere on Thursday

            January 20th at 9/8 Central.

            In a moment, we’ll begin the Q&A session. I’d like to remind all

            participants that you will receive a transcript within the next 24 to 48

            hours. I would also like to remind everyone to please limit yourselves to

            one question and then reenter the question queue for any additional

            questions. This will ensure that we field as many questions as possible

            within the allotted time.

            I’d like to now turn the call back over to Karen to begin the formal Q&A


M. Rauch    There’s a slight incorrect fact. Andrew Lenchewski’s actually an

            Executive Producer, not a Co-Executive Producer. Just so people get that


Moderator   Our first question’s going to come from Troy Rogers with
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T. Rogers   How important was it for Eddie’s heart attack to reflect a change in Hank

            and Evan even though their father probably won’t change?

M. Rauch    Well, the second part of the question first. I think that we’re not so sure if

            the father will change or not and that’s part of what we’re dealing with in

            these back six episodes. Seeing the effects, not just physically, but what

            happens to Eddie. To be in the presence of his sons, if this can help change

            him. That becomes a big part of these six episodes.

            I think it’s a very sobering thing, especially for Hank. Evan, as was

            played in the 12 episodes of the summer, was more immediately forgiving

            than Hank was and a big part of Hank’s arc was could he get to a place of

            either forgiveness or acceptance? I think when you come face-to-face

            with the thought of losing a parent, no matter what your relationship is

            with them, it forces you to reassess things and reevaluate them and see if

            you need to change your perception of who they are and what you want

            the relationship to be.

Moderator   Our next question comes from Matt Connor with
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M. Connor       With this being the second season, USA likes to do something fun where

                they don’t give you a back-whatever until you’re in your second season.

                From a production and writing standpoint, how has it been different

                approaching the season noting you have these back six episodes to do?

A. Lenchewski   It was the difference between 100 yard sprint and a marathon in that we

                had to start out in the writer’s room thinking about how to do almost two

                different seasons. One that would cover 12 episodes, allow for a

                cliffhanger that would keep the audience interested during these fall

                months that we were off the air and then bring them back in the winter for

                another six. But at the same time, each of them had to have their own

                complete arcs for all the characters and for the Hank/Evan/Eddie

                relationship primarily that Michael was just talking about. It required a lot

                of foresight in the writer’s room and then additionally a lot of stamina in


                At the end of the first season, we wrapped at the beginning of August and

                at the beginning of the second season at the end of October. There’s a big

                difference there just in terms of how much fuel you need in the tank and

                also in terms of logistics. We shot the season finale for Season One in

                summer weather and the season finale for Season Two in late fall. It’s a
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            much bigger order but it’s also incredibly satisfying at the end of 18

            episodes to look back and see how much we delivered.

Moderator   Next, we go to Jenny Rarden with

J. Rarden   Divya is set to leave in a month for London and get married. Surely, she’s

            not really leaving, right?

M. Rauch    Well, I can’t actually answer that question because that would end a lot of

            the suspense and drama. She’s a very important part of the fabric of the

            show and she’s also a character who’s torn between different obligations.

            That’s a big part of what we’re going to do in the back six episodes with

            her character. It really takes us all the way to the winter season finale

            where things really come together and she’s forced to make a decision in

            Episode 218.

J. Rarden   Right, but the actress isn’t leaving the show, is she? I know you can’t tell

            me what happens with the character necessarily, but—?

M. Rauch    It would be a loss to the show if we didn’t see the lovely Reshma Shetty

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Moderator       Next, we go to Lauren Fleishman with

L. Fleishman    A common trend in today’s television series is having a musical episode.

                Would you guys ever consider having an episode like this where

                characters sing throughout the whole show?

M. Rauch        Yes, we would. I don’t know if the network would let us do it for a while,

                but this is something we talked about before it was a common trend from

                the beginning of Season One. I would love it. I want to have our

                characters break out in song. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I

                think it would be a lot fun. Reshma Shetty is a trained opera singer and

                Paulo can sing and even Andrew can carry a tune so we might bring some

                of the writers and producers into it also.

Moderator       Next, we go to Holly Bowmaster with

H. Bowmaster    Does Hank make headway in Boris’ illness?

A. Lenchewski   The steps forward in cracking Boris’ illness were, in terms of diagnosis,

                we went to Cuba for those episodes. Now it’s moving forward a little bit
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            more deliberately in terms of figuring out how to cure the disease now that

            we have an idea of what it is. The medical aspect to the Boris/Hank

            storyline for the rest of this season is going to focus more on the Marissa

            pregnancy; how that impacts the Marissa/Boris relationship and ultimately

            how that translates into the Hank/Boris relationship with something fairly

            climatic happening at the end of episode number 17, and the aftermath of

            that into the season finale.

Moderator   Next, we go to Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers   Can you guys talk about working with Henry Winkler and some of the

            things that he brings to Eddie that have enhanced the character or made

            him more rich?

M. Rauch    Well, he is—the reputation is accurate—the nicest man you will ever work

            with both onset and offset. He’s just an amazingly sweet and kind and

            bighearted guy, instantly loved by the cast and the crew and the producers.

            When Andrew and I were looking at different possibilities for the role of

            Eddie, we looked at actors of all tones and there was something about

            casting someone who plays a slightly nefarious person but who is so

            loved. You just look at him and you want to hug him. We thought it
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                would give us a greater opportunity to play a range of things with both

                him and the influence it would have on Hank and Evan.

                By bringing this kind of kindness and this love it’s much harder to hate

                him and it’s much harder to paint him as the bad guy. It gave us a lot

                more nuance to play in terms of whose perception of the past is more

                correct. Is it Hank’s or Evan’s or is it Eddie’s? Maybe it’s all of theirs

                and maybe they all remember things a little bit differently and you have a

                situation where you’re not quite sure who’s telling the truth. What

                becomes more important is what we’re seeing in each episode than what

                we’re hearing about from when they were kids.

Moderator       Next, we go to Guillermo Paz with Series&

G. Paz          With USA Network having a perfect record of renewing shows and

                making great TV, how did it feel for you to be so comfortable in terms of

                I know there’s going to be a next season already and how do you plan for

                the show being in this network?

A. Lenchewski   We certainly don’t take anything for granted. It is a tremendous comfort

                to be on a network that shows its programs the kind of support that USA
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            does both in terms of launching them from a marketing standpoint and

            nurturing them creatively, giving them the resources they need to thrive.

            At the same time, it’s our job to deliver quality episodes and then keep the

            audience there once the network has helped bring them to the set. We

            really focus on one episode at a time and one season at a time and

            hopefully the ratings follow and the network decides that we’re a show

            they want to keep around.

Moderator   Next, we go to Jennifer Wagner with

J. Wagner   I saw in the first episode coming up, Tom Cavanaugh was a big part of it,

            which I’m a big fan of his and I know Michael that you worked with him

            on Love Monkey, which I was a big fan of and I was very sorry it was

            cancelled. The way the first episode ended, it left it open so that he could

            be back again. Will he be or is this something that he might be semi-

            regular or just a guest occasionally?

M. Rauch    It’s one of these things where Tom works so much and we left it that way

            so that if we have the opportunity to bring him back and he’s free we’d be

            able to do it. We definitely loved having him in the show and I know Tom

            had a great time, too. In a perfect world we’ll be able to figure out a way
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            to bring him back. Hopefully, storylines and schedules will come together

            that we can make that possible. We thought he did a great job and he

            really fit into the show perfectly.

J. Wagner   That’s what I thought.

M. Rauch    Totally, he’s so right for this network. We’d love the opportunity to have

            him back.

Moderator   Next, we go to Jenny Rarden with

J. Rarden   Hi, I’m a big fan of romantic relationships on shows. A lot of times,

            couples who aren’t really couples are the ones I root for. For a long time I

            wanted Evan and Divya together, although I’m loving what Paige brings

            out in him. I also like the chemistry between Divya and Adam, but I guess

            my favorite is I’m a big fan of Hank and Jill and not a fan of Hank and

            Emily. Aside from Hank and Emily, none of those are couples. What are

            your thoughts on each of those pairings and have you thought about—?

M. Rauch    I’m sorry, your last line was cutoff.
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M. Rauch        Okay, we’ll answer as much as we can.

A. Lenchewski   It’s a great question and actually, all the relationships that you mentioned,

                Jenny, are going to be a big part of the character stuff that we play to in

                the back six. We’re going to see a very big evolution in this Evan/Paige

                dynamic that we started to tease out at the end of the front 12 which is not

                only a lot of fun and a storyline that brings a lot of comedic energy to the

                show, but something’s that really helping to evolve Evan’s character in a

                wonderful way.

                We’re going to see Hank and Emily’s relationship climax in a way that

                might be pleasing to some members of the audience and maybe less so to

                others. The Divya/Adam/Raj triangle is also going to peak in the back six

                and Hank/Jill, as has been the case since the beginning of the show, there

                are these star crossed lovers that always seem to find fate and timing

                intervening for better or worse. That’s going to happen, once again,

                towards the end of the season. It’s been a big part of what got us here and

                something we’ll continue to lean on as we go forward.

Moderator       Next, we go to Troy Rogers with
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T. Rogers   Can you talk about how you’re going to approach Season Three and the

            relationship between Hank and Evan or something you haven’t explored?

M. Rauch    We just opened up the writer’s room about a week ago so we’re just

            starting into it. One of the things that we talked about in Season One,

            Hank was a nearly perfect character and we only had, after the pilot, 12

            episodes so we didn’t have a lot of time to get into unpeeling the layers of

            him. In Season Two, it was one of the things we wanted to work on in

            terms of revealing some of his imperfections. We feel like we did a good

            job of that but we feel like there’s a lot more to go in terms of showing

            some of his vulnerabilities.

            The way we started the show, Evan was the one who was really, really

            flawed and Hank was perfect. In Season Two, they started drifting a little

            bit more towards the middle where some of the stuff that you’ll be seeing

            in the winter six, their arcs start to cross a little bit. We feel like in Season

            Three we know we’ll have some fun with Evan having a lot of his life

            together while Hank might have some of the parts of his life less in order.

Moderator   Next, we go to Guillermo Paz with Series&
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G. Paz          We just saw in the previews for the new season premiere that Eddie

                Lawson had a flashback to when the guys were kids. Are we going to see

                anymore flashbacks from before the Hamptons time?

A. Lenchewski   It’s not a device that we’ve employed commonly on the show. It was used

                by Michael who directed the Mid-Season Premiere for a very specific

                purpose to great effect and if that kind of opportunity presented itself and

                it called for that device we could certainly go back to it. It’s probably not

                a flashback in the conventional sense that you’re thinking of but it will

                make a lot of sense to the audience when they see the way Michael used it

                in the episode.

Moderator       Next, we go to Jennifer Wagner with

J. Wagner       Since you actually tape out on Long Island, I was just wondering how the

                weather interferes with your shooting being that it’s not like Los Angeles

                where it’s always sunny. There’s a lot of rain and the weather changes

                from day-to-day?
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M. Rauch    It’s a really good question. Last year we had two episodes that in the story

            took place in Cuba and we shot them in Puerto Rico because when we

            start shooting it’s basically winter here on the east coast. This year we’re

            going to go away to a sunny place again for the same reason and try to

            avoid snow as much as we can.

            Still, when we’re back up here in the northeast, it’s going to be basically

            the beginning of April and as you know it gets really chilly then and we

            shoot until the end of October and it gets really chilly then. It’s most

            difficult on the actors. We have a Hank/Jill beach scene and its 50 degrees

            out and they’re in shorts and tee-shirts pretending that they’re warm and

            hot. Also very difficult on the crew who has to shoot there, then again, it’s

            not dead of winter. One of the best things about this show is that we shoot

            on Long Island, these amazing locations with amazing mansions with

            amazing views and one of the more difficult parts is that we shoot in these

            places where it takes a while to get to every day and also if the weather

            isn’t in our favor we’ve got to quickly turn our schedule around. It

            definitely makes things more complicated.

Moderator   Next, we go to Jenny Rarden with
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J. Rarden       Hi, guys. How much of my last question did you hear?

A. Lenchewski   We heard everything up until you asked about the relationships, about the

                only pair that’s not a couple and did you hear our answer or no?

J. Rarden       No, I did not hear your answer.

A. Lenchewski   Did you want to finish your question?

J. Rarden       That was basically it. I know you guys can’t really give away anything

                about where you’re going with each of those but I wondered have you

                thought long-term about who you want to see together, who any fans want

                to see together and that type of thing.

A. Lenchewski   Yes, I think that the spirit of our answer is that just as love is a big part of

                every summer these relationships are to some extent the lifeblood of these

                character storylines and really give us a lot of stuff to play, not just in

                terms of each of those pairings that you mentioned, but the way that those

                pairings impact upon all the relationships within the show. There are

                some people who are more interested in others than seeing something

                potentially happening between Evan and Divya, but what everyone agrees
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                on is that there is a great tension, a great chemistry there and now that

                these characters have become almost brother and sister to each other how

                does her relationship with Adam, her relationship with Raj, how do those

                impact upon her relationship with Evan? How does Evan having now met

                this girl, Paige, impact upon his relationship with Divya? A lot of those

                things are going to be a lot of fun to play with.

                Just to reiterate what I said before, Hank and Jill is sort of a well that we

                keep going back to because it’s really interesting study in timing and fate

                in that it always seems to either be the perfect time for them to be together

                or the perfect time for them not to be together and we’ll continue to go

                back to that for story in the winter six.

Moderator       Next, we go to Guillermo Paz with Series&

G. Paz          In promoting the show, you say, ―the best performing freshman year of a

                cable series, ever‖. Does that put pressure on you or is that something to

                be proud of?

A. Lenchewski   Probably a little bit of both but it’s a problem we don’t mind having.

                We’re very lucky to be on an incredibly successful network that knows the
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            shows that it can program very well and it does an amazing job of

            promoting us. We feel an enormous amount of gratitude for that and at

            the same time it’s very important for us to produce as high a quality as

            possible in each episode. The fact that we have such an amazing and loyal

            fan base is incredibly encouraging. At the same time, we do feel a lot of

            pressure to make sure that every week when they turn us on they’re

            feeling satisfied and having fun and wanting to watch the next episode and

            the one after that and the one after that.

L. Murphy   Ladies and gentlemen, that will conclude today’s session. I’d like to once

            again thank Michael and Andrew for joining us and to remind everybody

            to tune into the premiere of Royal Pains on Thursday January 20th at 9/8

            Central on USA Network. Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your day.

Moderator   Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today.

            Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive

            TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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