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Royal Pains gives USA network another breezy summertime bright spot

Mark Feuerstein (orange shirt) heads the cast of USA's Royal Pains.

Premiering: Thursday, June 4th at 9 p.m. (central) on USA
Starring: Mark Feurstein, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Flint, Reshma Shetty
Produced by: Andrew Lenchewski, Michael Rauch, Rich Frank, Paul Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz, John P. Rogers, Jace Alexander

NBC Universal's biggest loser -- and loss leader -- continues to be its once formidable but now last place NBC broadcast network.

Meanwhile, the Peacock's cable constellation both makes money and in some cases holds its head high, too. None more so than the USA network, which launches a bright fish-out-of-water doctor series Thursday night while also returning fave rave Burn Notice for a third season.

In contrast, NBC is filling Thursday's prime-time holes with another hour of its sub-putrid I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here and the first two episodes of The Listener, a series better left unheard and unseen.

USA's likable newcomer is Royal Pains, which gives its star, Mark Feuerstein, a third crack at prime-time longevity after flopping in NBC's Good Morning, Miami and CBS' 3 lbs.

This time could be the charm. Feuerstein plays ER doc Hank Lawson, who's drummed out of Manhattan's medical establishment after a billionaire hospital trustee dies on his watch while he saves someone else.

His blonde bombshell fiancee soon pans out as a golddigger, although Hank proves to be a vexing, world class moper. He spends his days drinking beer, watching old movies and seeing most of his belongings repossessed before younger brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) shows up to inform him that his pad "smells like a moose had sex with a bucket of Chinese food."

That perhaps beats the alternative of smelling like a muskrat passing gas after having relations with a week-old anchovy pizza. But point taken.

Costanzo's one-liners and zeal to be a playa give Royal Pains a quick picker-upper. His latest scheme is crashing a party at a mega-mansion in the Hamptons.

Older brother Hank plays along -- reluctantly, of course -- before fate intervenes in the shapely form of a socialite who collapses in the midst of revelers. Hank accurately vetoes the diagnosis of the local Dr. Feelgood, which immediately makes him the playland's latest A-list MD.

Can he feel good about himself, though? Well, yes, because a comely hospital administrator named Jill (Jill Flint) convinces Hank that he also can administer to the Hamptons' less fortunate, most of whom are employed in menial jobs by the rich.

Also co-starring is Reshma Shetty as the willful Divya, who insists on becoming Hank's physician's assistant. Li'l bro Evan can't believe their good fortune, even if big bro is the one attracting all the interest from various pretty ladies.

Royal Pains is little more than a fun, breezy summertime escape. But it's well cast in this role, thanks to some clever writing and winning performances, principally by Costanzo.

The newcomer also has a crowd-pleasing warmup act in Burn Notice, which returns in the 8 p.m. (central) slot. It gives USA a nicely matched pair of weekly warm weather destinations while sibling network NBC washes ashore with more flotsam.